Doctor cleared of immigrant’s death in Madrid

A MADRID judge acquitted the doctor held responsible for the death of Samba Martine in December 2011.

It would have been unfair to convict him, the judge said, for the omissions of other doctors or nurses and “bureaucratic deficiencies.”

The Congolese woman was transferred from Melilla to the Aluche (Madrid) immigrants’ internment on November 12 2011.

Martine had been tested for HIV and was considered to be in good health when the Melilla authorities authorised her transfer.

That same day she was prescribed medication for flu-like symptoms and itching in the perianal zone but once in Madrid, these worsened and she was seen by the accused primary care doctor.

He attended Martine until November 30, after which she was treated on seven more occasions by other doctors and nurses.

On December 19 she was finally admitted to hospital where she died seven hours later.

She died of systemic cryptococcosis, a fungal disease that would have received more appropriate treatment had doctors been aware that Martine was a HIV positive but these did not arrive until November 2012, the judge said.

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