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ARGENTINA | 30-04-2021 22:17

Expert panel says Diego Maradona was left to ‘fate’ ahead of his death

Diego Maradona received inadequate medical care and was left to “fate” for a "prolonged, agonising period" before he died last year, an expert medical panel concluded Friday.

Diego Maradona received inadequate medical care and was left to his fate for a "prolonged, agonising period" before he died last year, an expert medical panel concluded Friday.

In a 70-page document, the panel stated that the legendary, who succumbed to a heart attack on November 25 at the age of 60, "started to die at least 12 hours before" the moment he was found dead in his bed.

Maradona died just weeks after undergoing brain surgery on a blood clot.

A panel of 20 experts was convened by Argentina's public prosecutor to examine the cause of death and to determine if there had been any negligence.

Maradona's neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov and psychologist Carlos Díaz are under investigation as well as two nurses, a nursing coordinator and a medical coordinator. The finding could result in a case of wrongful death, and a prison sentence of up to 15 years if convicted.

The legal proceedings were prompted by a complaint filed by two of Maradona's five daughters against Luque, whom they blamed for their father's deteriorating condition after the brain operation.

The ex-Albiceleste legend underwent surgery on November 3, just four days after he celebrated his 60th birthday at the club he coached, Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata. However, he appeared in poor health then, and had trouble speaking.

Maradona had battled cocaine and alcohol addictions during his life. He was suffering from liver, kidney and cardiovascular disorders when he died.

Two of the football great's daughters have accused Luque of responsibility in Maradona's deteriorating health.

The panel concluded that Maradona "would have had a better chance of survival" with adequate treatment in an appropriate medical facility.

He died in his bed in a rented house in an exclusive neighbourhood in Tigre, where he was receiving home care.

Maradona did not have "full use of his mental faculties" and should not have been left to decide where he would be treated, the experts said. They also found that his treatment was rife with "deficiencies and irregularities" and the medical team had left his survival "to fate."

Sebastian Sanchi, a former spokesman for Maradona, told AFP, "it is clear that the panel says that things were not done right."

 

– TIMES/AFP

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