Medical board: Dying Maradona in agony under 'reckless' supervision, might have survived with proper care

Jason Owens

A medical board that examined Diego Maradona's final hours has levied charges of recklessness against his caretakers and believes he might have survived under better care, according to documents obtained by CNN.

The Argentinian soccer icon died of heart failure in November at 60 years old. He spent his final hours under medical supervision at a Buenos Aires home instead of at a hospital, according to the report. The board found the actions of Maradona's medical team led by neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque and psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov to be "inadequate, deficient and reckless," per the report.

The report found that his nursing care was "plagued by irregularities and deficiencies" and concluded that "there were unmistakable signs of a period of prolonged agony" during Maradona's last 12 hours. 

"The warning signs that the patient exhibited were ignored," the medical board report states, according to CNN.

The board determined that Maradona, who underwent brain surgery earlier in November, "did not have full use of his mental faculties" and should not have been permitted to make decisions about his care.

"Although it is counterfactual to assert that DAM (Diego Armando Maradona) wouldn't have died if he had been treated adequately, taking into account what was known about the days leading up to his death we agree that he would have had a better chance of survival if he had been treated in a healthcare facility according to medical best practice," the report states.

The findings of the report will be submitted to a legal investigation of Maradona's death. Neither Luque nor Cosachov have responded publicly to the allegations in the report. Both have previously defended themselves in Maradona's caretaking.

There is nothing to suggest I was negligent," Luque told prosecutors in November, per CNN. Cosachov's lawyer told CNN in December that she "had used her best judgment from a medical point of view."

Maradona was a hero in his home country, having led Argentina to World Cup victory in 1986 while becoming an international sensation as a professional in Europe. 

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