Bacik Calls for Independent Inquiry Into Death of Savita Halappanavar

20 November 2012

STATEMENT BY SENATOR IVANA BACIK

Labour Party Seanad leader and Spokesperson on Justice

Tuesday 20th November 2012

BACIK CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO DEATH OF SAVITA HALAPPANAVAR




Speaking today in the Seanad in the aftermath of the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar at Galway University Hospital, Senator Ivana Bacik said:

“It is vital that the inquiry into Savita's death should be conducted by an independent team of experts with some members at least drawn from outside Ireland. It is not legally robust to have three members of staff from Galway University hospital on the inquiry – this breaches the legal principle of Nemo Iudex in Causa Sua (or the rule against bias). Experts from the hospital could and should be called as witnesses but should not be included as members of the inquiry panel. The inquiry must also be conducted expeditiously – it should not have to take three months to establish the full facts in this tragic and heartbreaking death.”

Speaking about the Government response to the tragic death, Senator Bacik also said:

“As we reflect on the tragic and apparently preventable death of a young woman, in appalling circumstances where she was denied a potentially life-saving termination of her pregnancy, it is now very clear that the Government must legislate without delay to clarify for doctors how to implement the X case judgment. We need legislation to provide legal clarity as to the criteria for life-saving terminations of pregnancy or abortions. No more delays, no more inaction. The courts have spoken, the people have spoken. A young woman has died. This Government must legislate.”



ENDS