Death of Maradona: eight health professionals tried for manslaughter

Eight health professionals will be tried in Argentina for manslaughter with aggravating circumstances, at the end of the investigation into the death of footballer Diego Maradona in 2020.

Football legend Maradona died at the age of 60 from a cardio-respiratory 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.

Breaches and negligence

An Argentinian judge from the municipality of San Isidro confirmed on Wednesday June 22 that a trial would be held for eight of these professionals, including a neurosurgeon family doctor, a psychiatrist, a nursing manager and nurses. The prosecution had requested this dismissal in April, pointing out shortcomings and negligence in the care of the ex-star, who was recovering at home.

The eight suspects will be tried for “simple homicide with dolus eventualis”, a typical offense when a person commits negligence knowing that it could result in 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.

According to prosecutors, the personnel in charge of Maradona had been “protagonist of an unprecedented, totally deficient and reckless home hospitalization”and would have committed a “series of improvisations, mismanagement and shortcomings”. An expert report, as part of the investigation, 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 defended their actions during their hearings, 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 defendants, had said to himself “proud of what (he) has done”ensuring to have “tried to help” Maradona. No date has yet been confirmed for the trial.


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