Rome

Detainee's death caused by conditions left 'untreated'

Forensic exams say that hospital guilty of neglecting Cucchi

Detainee's death caused by conditions left 'untreated'

Rome, December 13 - Additional forensic exams released on Thursday regarding the death of Stefano Cucchi, a 31-year-old surveyor's clerk who died on October 22, 2009 while in police custody in Rome, reported that his condition was not properly treated by hospital staff and that his death was caused by a "severe shortage of food and liquids". The exams were ordered for next week's civil-court hearings as further evidence for the trial of 12 people - six doctors, three nurses from Rome's Pertini prison hospital and three warders - who allegedly contributed to Cucchi's death. "The patient was not properly cared for, the severity of his condition was not taken into account and he did not receive treatment that could have prevented his death," the forensic report said. An autopsy shortly after Cucchi's death found he was severely dehydrated, had two broken vertebrae and internal organ damage. The report also said that "the traumatic injuries on Cucchi's body correspond with both aggression and with an accidental fall". A previous parliamentary committee concluded in 2010 that Cucchi died from severe dehydration. Prosecutors at hearings in April 2010 said that the doctors failed to carry out even "the most basic checks" on the injured detainee, a drug addict with a history of health problems caused by low blood sugar. An official in the regional penitentiary department, Claudio Marchiandi, was previously sentenced to two years in jail after requesting a fast-track trial for pressuring doctors to report that Cucchi's condition was "good" after a cell beating. "All of the medical staff is guilty of negligent and incompetent conduct and did not respect the norms for monitoring the patient according to his condition, leading to his death," Thursday's report said.

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