Eight health professionals will be tried in Argentina for manslaughter

Eight health professionals will be tried in Argentina for manslaughter with aggravating circumstances, at the end of the investigation into the death in 2020 at the age of 60 of a heart attack of football legend Diego Maradona, announced Wednesday a judge.

A San Isidro judge upheld the lawsuit of these professionals, including a neurosurgeon and family physician, a clinical physician, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a nursing manager and orderlies. The prosecution had requested this trial in April, pointing out shortcomings and negligence in the care of the ex-star.

He suffered from multiple pathologies

Maradona died of a cardiorespiratory crisis on November 25, 2020, alone, on his medical bed in a residence in northern Buenos Aires, while recovering from neurosurgery. He suffered from kidney and liver problems, heart failure, neurological deterioration, and addiction to alcohol and psychotropic drugs.

The eight suspects will be tried for “simple homicide with dolus eventualis”, an offense characterized when a person commits negligence while knowing that it can cause someone’s death. They risk 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.

Caregivers accused of “improvisations”

According to the prosecutors, the personnel in charge of Maradona had been “protagonist of an unprecedented, totally deficient and reckless home hospitalization”, and had committed a “series of improvisations, mismanagement and failures”. An expert report, as part of the investigation, had concluded that the former player had been “left to his fate” by his medical team, leading him to a slow agony.

Psychologist, doctor or nurse, the suspects had all during their hearings, defended their actions, within the framework of their field of competence, at the bedside of the champion. Leopoldo Luque, attending physician and confidant of Maradona appearing among the accused, said he was “proud of what (he) did”, claiming to have “tried to help” Maradona. No date has been advanced at this stage for the holding of the trial.

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