there will be a trial of health professionals


Un judge of San Isidro (north of Buenos Aires) followed Wednesday June 22 the requisitions in April of the parquet floor, and sent back to trial these practitioners, among whom a neurosurgeon and an attending physician, a clinical doctor, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a head nurse, nurses.

Maradona died of a cardio-respiratory crisis on November 25, 2020 at the age of 60, alone, on a medical bed at a residence in Tigre, north of Buenos Aires, where he was recovering from neurosurgery for a hematoma on the head. The former football star suffered from multiple pathologies: kidney and liver problems, heart failure, neurological deterioration and addiction to alcohol and psychotropic drugs.

The death of Maradona, considered one of the greatest geniuses in football, an idol in Argentina with whom he had won the 1986 World Cup, had created a planetary shock wave and upset Argentina. Tens of thousands of people had participated in the funeral vigil of his remains around the presidential palace.

The eight suspects are facing trial on charges of “simple homicide with dolus eventualis”, an offense which is characterized when a person commits negligence knowing that it could lead to someone’s death.

The neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, the psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, the psychologist Carlos Diaz, the medical coordinator Nancy Forlini, the nursing coordinator Mariano Perroni, the nurses Ricardo Almiron and Dahiana Madrid, the clinical doctor Pedro Pablo Di Spagna will thus have to appear.

A “totally deficient and reckless” hospitalization

In his recitals, Judge Orlando Diaz considered that “each of the defendants, by the place he specifically occupied in the overall configuration (…) would have exercised joint control of the facts”determining the final event “depending on the contributions of each of them”.

An expert report had concluded that the former player had been ‘left to his fate’ by his medical team, leading him to a ‘prolonged period of agony’

The magistrate noted “the absence of intervention, of any life-saving action that could have prevented death”. They face sentences ranging from 8 to 25 years in prison, but should appear free at trial, the San Isidro prosecutor’s office having never requested their pre-trial detention. No date has been put forward at this stage for the holding of the trial.

According to prosecutors, the personnel in charge of Maradona had been “protagonist of an unprecedented, utterly deficient and reckless home hospitalization”and would have committed a “series of improvisations, mismanagement and shortcomings”.

A damning expert report, produced in May 2021 by a medical commission as part of the investigation, concluded that the former player had been “left to his fate” by his care team, leading him to a “prolonged period of agony”.

The team of doctors say they are “proud” of what they have done

The suspects had all during their hearings, defended their actions, within the framework of their field of competence, at the bedside of the champion. By sending the ball back into the court of other professionals.

Thus Leopoldo Luque, attending physician and confidant of Maradona, said to himself “proud of what (he) has done”ensuring at all times to have “tried to help” Maradona. It was “family doctor, not in charge of home hospitalization”had pointed out his lawyer.

The psychologist Diaz had estimated that his work as an addiction specialist had had no “no kind of interference” with the death, the latter having had no “nothing to do with a clinical or psychiatric question”.

And the nurse Dahiana Madrid, who had discovered Maradona lifeless, had assured to have done only “comply with the instructions of the doctors”. There was “lots of warning signs that Maradona was going to die overnight. And none of the doctors did anything to prevent it”pleaded his lawyer.

The prosecution had opened an investigation, looking for possible negligence or recklessness, following statements by two daughters of Diego Maradona, pointing in particular to Dr. Luque.

Other procedures remain pending in the posthumous wake of the legendary footballer: a civil procedure, on the sharing of the inheritance of Maradona, to the five recognized children. And a procedure between his two eldest daughters and his lawyer for the commercial use of the mark or the name.

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