US lab and HSE 'deeply regret' suffering of woman who died of cervical cancer

ireland
Us Lab And Hse 'Deeply Regret' Suffering Of Woman Who Died Of Cervical Cancer Us Lab And Hse 'Deeply Regret' Suffering Of Woman Who Died Of Cervical Cancer
Outside the court, Padraig Creaven from Menlo, Galway said: “I feel that I have some small bit of justice for Aoife". Photo: Collins Courts
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Ann O'Loughlin

The HSE and a US laboratory today said in the High Court they “deeply regret the pain, suffering and incalculable loss” experienced by a 40-year-old woman who died of cervical cancer, her husband and family.

Aoife Mitchell Creaven had to have a termination at 20 weeks of her much wanted IVF pregnancy after she discovered she had terminal cervical cancer.

Three years after her death in 2015, her family were told of a CervicalCheck audit of her 2011 smear test taken under the national screening programme showed a change in the interpretation from the original result of no abnormalities detected.

Her husband who sued for nervous shock over his wife’s death and the alleged misinterpretation of her 2011 smear slide included a claim for the costs of future surrogacy. The court heard he hopes to use the couple’s frozen embryos to fulfil his deceased’s wife wish for a child through surrogacy.

'Tragic case'

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In a statement to the High Court as the settlement was announced the HSE and US laboratory CPL said they wished to acknowledge that this “is a uniquely tragic case which has had the most devastating consequences for Aoife, her husband Padraig Creaven, and for Aoife’s family.”

It added: “We deeply regret the pain, suffering and incalculable loss experienced by Aoife, Padraig and her family.”

The HSE in the statement said it “reiterates its sincere and unreserved apology to Mr Creaven for the failure by the CervicalCheck programme to communicate with him in a timely and appropriate way, the results of an audit that indicated a change in the interpretation of Aoife’s smear taken on August 8, 2011."

Noting the settlement Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy said she would like to extend her sympathy and condolences to Mr Creaven and the Mitchell family.

Termination

The judge said the court was particularly struck by the opening of the case where it was stated that Mrs Marcella Mitchell had travelled to London with her daughter Aoife for the termination.

The judge said one can only imagine how horrendous that was for the mother and daughter.

Outside court, Mr Creaven from Menlo, Galway flanked by his solicitor Cian O’Carroll in a statement said he was happy to have got acknowledgements from the HSE and CPL.

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“I feel that I have some small bit of justice for Aoife,” he said.

He added: “I hope going forward that more women won’t have to lose their lives before the system changes.”

He said he wanted to acknowledge Aoife’s family for all the help and support and of him and his late wife “through an unimaginably difficult time”.

The details of the settlement are confidential.

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