The shocking death of Naples and Barcelona legend Diego Maradona two weeks after his rushed discharge from hospital following brain surgery took the world of soccer by storm. Even though his situation had been deemed stable, Maradona reportedly died in his sleep due to lung edema caused by “exacerbated chronic heart failure.”

Now, his relatives accuse doctors of gross medical negligence, and the police have so far raided the late star’s personal physician Dr. Leopoldo Luque’s home and private clinic. Luque is the neurosurgeon who performed the surgery on Maradona and whom Maradona reportedly “trusted” more than any other medic.

Luque, who vehemently denies responsibility for Maradona’s death, claims that his late patient’s family and authorities want to “make [him] the scapegoat.”

How Did Maradona Die?

Maradona reportedly died in his sleep at his Buenos Aires home on November 25th, 2020. The necropsy report revealed that the 60-year-old soccer icon’s heart failure had caused secondary pulmonary edema, which proved fatal.

The soccer star was also diagnosed post-mortem with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition affecting the heart muscle in a way that it gets larger and can no longer appropriately pump blood to the rest of the body. At the moment of his death, Maradona’s heart weighed 1.1 lbs., which is double the typical weight of the heart of a male of his age and size.

Maradona was recovering after surgery to remove a life-threatening blood clot from his brain. He was also reportedly undergoing home treatment and was under round-the-clock care. He had reportedly asked to be discharged from the hospital ahead of time and refused to have a home health aide. 

According to Dr. Luque, the Argentina legend “hated doctors” along with “everyone involved in health.”

What Are Maradona’s Doctors Accused Of?

Maradona’s daughters Dalma and Giannina accuse Dr. Luque of failing to give their father the right medication during his treatment at home, which has allegedly led to his premature death. Psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov who also cared for the late soccer star, is accused of gross negligence in handling Maradona’s case.

Cosachov, whose home and office were also raided by the police in a bid to “reconstruct [Maradona’s] medical history,” was part of the team that treated the retired soccer player after surgery. Luque points the finger at Cosachov for allegedly failing to issue a detailed report about Maradona’s symptoms, which could have allowed doctors to transfer him to a neuropsychiatric institute.

Maradona, an admitted cocaine addict and heavy drinker, reportedly displayed substance withdrawal symptoms shortly after hospitalization. Luque claims that the decision to undergo home treatment belongs to Maradona, who refused to be taken to an addiction treatment center.

Investigators handling the Maradona case believe that the lack of proper medical supervision shortly after surgery has led to the former Naples star’s death. They think Maradona’s health care providers were “absolutely negligent.” One investigator has even flaunted the word “manslaughter” in the press, citing health care professionals’ error, negligence, or “inexperience.”

“What we’ve seen is that the [medical] behavior was absolutely negligent. It was totally deficient home-care,” one of the investigators told local news agency Telam.

Was Maradona a Victim of Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is grounds for legal action when the negligence or incompetence of a doctor, nurse, and other medical professionals in handling a patient’s case has caused the patient injuries or premature death. Errors that can harm the patient may occur during diagnosis, treatment, or aftercare and can be made through either action or inaction.

However,  while Maradona wasn’t injured by a medical procedure, his sudden death was likely caused by medical error, which is grounds for a wrongful death case. Prosecutors have already launched a wrongful death investigation.

If Maradona was the victim of medical malpractice remains to be seen as proving medical malpractice involves a lot of work. According to Friedman & Simon Injury Lawyers LLP, to prove medical malpractice, you’ll need access to the patient’s:

–          Medical records

–          Prior complaints

–          Expert witness testimony

–          Photographs of injuries

The same documents are currently being retrieved by Argentinian cops in an attempt to prove wrongful death in Maradona’s case. However, a critical report like toxicology is still missing, so the late soccer star’s family should refrain from throwing stones at Maradona’s doctors just yet.

The toxicology report may paint a whole different story as it might reveal that drugs or alcohol, not doctors, caused an overweight Maradona’s fatal heart attack after a lifetime of notorious abuse.