Hospital in Settlement Over Malak Thawley Death


The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin has reached a settlement with the husband of a woman who died there during surgery in 2016. Malak Thawley, 34, died after what her husband’s lawyers called a "cascade of negligence".


Alan Thawley sued over her death and over the nervous shock he suffered as a result. The High Court was told “compensatory” damages had been paid, but not aggravated or exemplary. No further details of the settlement were given.


Mr Thawley had claimed aggravated or exemplary damages on top of compensatory damages, because he said he and his wife were not told a junior doctor would be carrying out the procedure.


He claimed the master of the hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony, should have “come clean” and told him exactly what had happened to his wife, instead of telling him that her death had been “an accident”.


Mrs Thawley was six weeks pregnant when she had surgery for an ectopic pregnancy at Holles Street in Dublin on 8 May 2016. Her husband was told the operation would take 30 minutes. But Mrs Thawley’s aorta was cut with a surgical instrument and she bled to death.


The Thawleys were never told the operation would be carried out by a junior doctor, that he would not be supervised and there would not be a consultant present in the hospital.


There was a delay in realising what had happened and in taking measures to save her.


In a statement read outside the court, Mr Thawley said there was no compensation that could replace the profound loss of his wife's untimely and needless death. He said the proceedings were begun to expose the cascade of negligence demonstrated by the hospital.


Mr Thawley said he would continue to work with the Minister for Health and his ministerial inquiry to ensure that he was the last person in Irish history who had to suffer what he had suffered and continued to suffer.


A spokeswoman for Minister for Health Simon Harris said the minister had recently requested the Health Information and Quality Authority to undertake an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mrs Thawley’s tragic death. She said that neither the Minister nor the Department was in a position to make any further comment at this stage.

RTÉ. January 16.

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