Football icon Diego Maradona received inadequate medical care and was left to his fate for a “prolonged, agonising period” before his death last year, an expert medical panel has concluded.
The 60-year-old Argentinian succumbed to a heart attack on November 25, just weeks after undergoing brain surgery on a blood clot. His passing prompted a period of national mourning in Argentina and brought a global outpouring of grief.
Shortly after, Argentina’s public prosecutor convened a panel of 20 experts to examine the cause of death and determine if there had been any negligence. Maradona’s neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov and psychologist Carlos Diaz are under investigation as well as two nurses, a nursing coordinator and a medical coordinator.
In a 70-page document, the panel stated on Friday Maradona “started to die at least 12 hours before” the moment he was found dead in his bed. The finding could result in a case of wrongful death, and a prison sentence of up to 15 years if convicted.
“The action of the health team in charge of treating DAM (Diego Armando Maradona) was inadequate, deficient and reckless,” said the medical board report dated April 30 and shared with Reuters news agency by a source close to the investigation.
“He presented unequivocal signs of a prolonged agonising period, so we conclude that the patient was not properly monitored from 00:30 on 11/25/2020,” the report added.
Maradona is an idol to millions of Argentinians after he inspired the country to only its second World Cup triumph in 1986.