‘Inappropriate, Deficient and Reckless’: Soccer Legend Diego Maradona’s Medical Team Charged With Homicide
In a bizarre twist to Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona’s death back in November 2020, his eight-person medical team will now be tried for homicide connected to his case.
The group of doctors, nurses and a psychologist are all accused of simple homicide after a medical board found that they cared for Maradona in an “inappropriate, deficient and reckless manner.”
Maradona’s official cause of death was cardiac arrest, dying at 60 years old at his home in Dique Luján in Buenos Aires. At the time, he was recovering from a surgery in which a blood clot had been removed from his brain, and also reportedly went through alcohol-related withdrawal after the procedure.
Argentina immediately declared three days of national mourning for the soccer icon, but fans continued to feel shock and disbelief, while others questioned what led to his untimely death. Attorney Mario Baudry, employed by one of Maradona’s sons, explained: “As soon as I saw the cause, I said it was homicide. I fought for a long time and here we are, with this stage completed.” He also described Maradona’s condition as “a situation of helplessness” by the end of his life.
The 236-page document attached to the case confirms that the medical team will be tried, and the judge questions if the accused “contributed to the realization of the harmful result.” That being said, the medical team is denying responsibility, with the psychiatrist’s lawyer stating, “A guilty party is being sought at all costs and objectivity is being lost.”
The defendants include the soccer star’s personal doctor, Leopoldo Luque, as well as a psychiatrist, psychologist, nurses and other doctors. Dr. Luque is who performed Maradona’s blood clot surgery.
Luque spoke at a press conference in November 2020 after his home was raided by police once investigations into Maradona’s cause of death were underway. He said the soccer star’s loved ones and fans were “trying to find a scapegoat,” and that “there was no medical error” in his treatment.
The doctor continued, “You want to know what I am responsible for? For having loved him, for having taken care of him, for having extended his life, for having improved it to the end.”
He also pointed to Maradona’s much-documented addiction to drugs and alcohol, saying that the medical team “put together a containment scheme for the issue of the pills he was taking and to control alcohol consumption,” but that Maradona “did what he wanted.”
The trial does not have a date yet, but a guilty verdict could lead to eight to 25 years in an Argentinian prison for members of the medical team.