Argentine authorities have launched an investigation into the doctor Leopoldo Luque, who treated the recently deceased footballer Diego Maradona. The Prosecutor’s office is checking the version that his death could have been the result of medical negligence.
The Argentine TV channel Todo Noticias reports that the doctor has already been charged with manslaughter, but this information has not been officially confirmed.
The doctor himself held a press conference, during which, with tears in his eyes, he said that he had done everything possible to save Maradona’s life.
The Argentine Prosecutor’s office searched Luque’s home and private clinic to gather evidence in the case and determine whether the doctor’s actions were negligent.
According to the Argentine media, Maradona’s daughters demanded to provide them with information about their father’s medications.
Maradona died on Wednesday of a heart attack, aged 60. At the time of his death, he was at his home in Buenos Aires. Shortly before that, Maradona underwent surgery to remove a blood clot in the brain, and it is also known that he was undergoing treatment for alcohol addiction.
“On Saturday, the investigation and collection of evidence continued; we collected statements from various people, including direct relatives of the deceased,” the Argentine prosecutors said in a statement. — Based on the evidence we have already obtained, we felt it necessary to request searches of the home and office of doctor Leopoldo Luque.”
On Thursday, Maradona’s lawyer, Matias Morla, said that he would demand a full investigation into the footballer’s death circumstances and accused the ambulance service of being slow to respond to the call. “The ambulance went for more than half an hour — this is just criminal stupidity,” Morla said in a statement posted on Twitter.
It is suspected that Maradona’s rehabilitation conditions after the operation in his home did not meet the requirements, including there was no defibrillator and the constant presence of doctors specializing in the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction. Prosecutors are also interested in how often Luque visited the football player at his home.
Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse quotes an unnamed relative of Maradona, according to whom doctors recommended that the player be left under medical supervision in another hospital, but “the family decided otherwise.” “His daughters signed a request to discharge him,” the source said.
What did the doctor say?
TV channel Todo Noticias quotes the statements of Maradona’s doctor Leopoldo Luque. At a press conference on Sunday, he tearfully said that he was not guilty of anything and cooperating with the investigation.
“I was absolutely shocked,” Luque tells about the day of the death of Maradona. — When Diego died, I arrived at the place where the Prosecutor’s office was already working. All this time, I was ready to talk to them.”
“There was no medical error; Diego had an unexpected event — a heart attack. For a patient like him, this is the first thing that could happen, – says the doctor. — I know exactly what I did for Diego and how I did it until the very last moment. I did everything I could.”
According to Luque, Maradona had a difficult relationship with doctors. “Diego hated doctors and psychologists. It was different with me because I was heartfelt with him. We were friends,” Luque was quoted as saying by Todo Noticias. “It all depended on him. He could have kicked me out of the house and then called me. This was our relationship — like a rebellious father and son.”
” For example, on Thursday [probably we are talking about the events a week before his death], I went to see him, and something happened that always happened to Diego: when he is bad, he drives everyone away. What can I do about it?»
The doctor also said that after a successful brain operation, he did not treat him. “As for me, I am a neurosurgeon, and my work has been completed. I’m done with him, ” Luque said. “Do you want to know what I’m guilty of? he asked reporters. “That I loved him, that I cared for him. That I extended his life and tried to make it better until the very end.”
“He had to go to a rehabilitation center. He didn’t want that,” Luque added. He also said that he did not know why there was no defibrillator in the house, and an ambulance was not on duty near the building. “Diego was in a somber mood. And not because he didn’t love his daughters, his family, and those around him,” the doctor said.