Digital Edition – September 2020 (#234)

‘Death by Ambulance’

The tragic demise of Princess Diana




Within six minutes of arriving at the hospital Princess Diana was dead. That places her time of death very close to the time Dr Jean-Marc Martino relinquished control to Dr Bruno Riou.


In other words, Martino was in control of Diana’s care for 1 hour and 26 minutes and she died 6 minutes after he passed on control.

This puts the spotlight more closely on the mystery period of 5 minutes when the ambulance stopped near the hospital gates. By the time the thoracotomy was commenced, Diana had already died.

There are four very specific and substantial areas of suspicion surrounding the actions of Drs Martino and Derossi:

  1. failure to divulge thoracic trauma to the SAMU base
  2. pumping of vaso-constricting catecholamines into Diana to increase her blood pressure above 70, despite the knowledge of thoracic trauma
  3. huge delays in the tunnel and in the ambulance
  4. five minute stoppage near the hospital.

Looking at the events now retrospectively, it seems that points 2, 3 and 4 – the catecholamines, the delays and the stoppage (and whatever it was that occurred within those periods) – were the factors that finally brought about the death of Princess Diana.

Had Diana’s blood pressure been maintained at a level that kept her alive, had she arrived at the hospital substantially earlier, or had whatever occurred during the 5 minute stoppage not taken place, then the well-intentioned doctors at the hospital would have had a reasonable chance of saving her.

Once Diana was in the hospital the doctors acted very quickly – the opposite to the snail’s pace efforts of Martino and Derossi – but it was already too late.

There are effectively two main ways of viewing the volumes of evidence relating to the medical treatment of Princess Diana between 12.23 a.m., the time of the crash, and 2.06 a.m., the time of her hospital arrival – 1 hour and 43 minutes later.

It was either:

A disastrous series of unconnected errors and unusual events on the night, followed by a further series of unconnected instances of memory malfunctions among some of the most vital witnesses throughout the years that followed, and accompanied by two of the most inept and fruitless national police investigations ever carried out.

Or it was:

A thoroughly coordinated and orchestrated operation that on the night was aimed at pretending that the Princess of Wales was given proper medical treatment, but instead was designed to ensure that she was delivered to the hospital in an un-survivable condition. This was then followed by a huge inter-governmental cover-up on a scale that has seldom been seen in history.

Just following through on one aspect: are the following events unconnected?

  1. Martino’s discovery of a combination of thoracic trauma and low blood pressure just after 1.06 a.m.
  2. Derossi’s statement made twice to Lejay at 1.20 a.m.: “nothing to report for the thorax”
  3. Derossi’s failure to pass on the discovery of thoracic trauma to the SAMU base at any time
  4. Lejay’s failure to disclose to the hospital that Diana had thoracic trauma – he obviously didn’t know himself
  5. The failure of the hospital to have a thoracic surgeon on hand when Diana arrived – this would have been her last hope of survival.

There are huge unexplained issues surrounding the pre-hospital medical treatment of Princess Diana – right from the inconsistent evidence of Dr Mailliez and the SAMU ambulance that travelled to the scene at 11½ kph, through to the five minute stoppage by that same ambulance while it was in sight of the La Pitié Hospital. When Martino first arrived he described Princess Diana as “alert” with a Glasgow coma rating of 14, right frontal trauma and an injured arm – yet he left the SAMU base believing for 40 minutes that she only had an injured arm. The SAMU base was never told by Derossi about the thoracic trauma. But then, there are many significant events in this sorry story of Diana’s medical treatment. A picture emerges that the doctors involved directly in caring for Diana – Mailliez, Martino and Derossi – did not have the Princess’ best interests in mind. Instead, particularly in the cases of Martino and Derossi, there is a sinister effort to delay Diana’s arrival at the hospital – this, despite the knowledge that the hospital was the only place where she could have been saved.

By the time Diana made it to the hospital, after being in Martino and Derossi’s care for 1 hour and 26 minutes, she was unconscious and her heart was only just beating. She suffered a cardiac arrest soon after arriving.

There is a paradox in the arguments put forward by the French medical witnesses regarding stabilising the patient: If the patient’s condition is good, then they move them towards the hospital. If the patient’s condition is bad, then they don’t move them towards the hospital, instead waiting until the condition improves.

Yet hospitals are designed for people who are in bad condition. Martino delayed Diana’s removal to the ambulance to the maximum. But then, once she is in the ambulance – and he has the full knowledge of the thoracic trauma and low blood pressure combination, and therefore the urgency to reach a hospital – then the delays become unconscionable: Diana was precisely a full hour in the ambulance.

The comments made by Lejay – “Are you ready to roll?” (1.20 a.m.) and “Are you en route yet?” (1.29 a.m.) – reveal that he was expecting the ambulance to be on the move, even though he had no knowledge of the thoracic trauma.

Instead of waiting for Diana to stabilise, the evidence indicates that Martino and Derossi were waiting for her to die, while they pumped catecholamines into her to speed the process – knowing full well that they shouldn’t have done that with a thoracic trauma. When they re-evaluated the situation just short of the hospital, they may have decided that, even after all they had done, she could still survive the night.

Orban witnessed a rocking ambulance. At that stage Martino and Derossi appear to have carried out an undisclosed action that ensured that – although Diana would be delivered to the hospital alive – she would not be in a position from which she could be revived.

For this entire operation to succeed, it required much more than the involvement of Drs Martino and Derossi. It is most unlikely that those men would have had any particular personal motive that led to their actions. They would have been working on the night on behalf of an intelligence agency and there is little doubt that their motive would have involved some form of reward, probably monetary.

Evidence relating to the role of the Elysée Palace and the British Embassy indicates that on the night the doctors were in contact with a person or persons outside the tunnel: a line of organisation with a connection to the French Government.

In addition, the wide-ranging cover-up that has developed since the crash, has drawn in organisations such as SAMU, even though they do not appear to have had any prior knowledge of the events.

The evidence presented at the inquest – Riou, Pavie, Lejay – indicates that the French medical system has closed ranks since the crash, in order to defend the plainly unconscionable and sinister actions of Drs Martino and Derossi.

This fits with the overwhelming evidence which will later be presented regarding the actions of the French authorities in response to the crash.

By the time the inquest took place, Dr Martino had effectively disappeared – in the words of Scott Baker: “It took us a long time to find him.” He was discovered in Germany after a search lasting several months. Why was it not just a simple procedure of checking with SAMU and establishing where he had moved to? I suggest that Dr Martino could not have carried out his actions on the night without an awareness, after the event, on the part of those in the French medical community. Princess Diana was held in high esteem by the French public – this is reflected in the large number of French eye-witnesses who have been willing over the years to give their evidence.

It may be that Dr Martino found it “too hot” to continue to pursue a medical career in Paris. The bank accounts and mobile phone records of those involved – Mailliez, Martino and Derossi – should have been checked as part of the investigations. They have not been.

When Scott Baker came to give his Summing Up to the jury he quickly skimmed through the evidence, drawing the barest outline – only 1,100 out of his over 80,000 words are dedicated to the pre-hospital medical evidence.

In doing this Baker avoided dealing with the critical evidence that has been covered in this book – evidence that cannot be ignored if one’s intention is to reveal a true picture of the events that occurred on that night.


“With this type of injury, time is of the essence.... In the United States the delay in getting [Diana] to the hospital could constitute gross malpractice. There’s no excuse for it.”

— Dr Michael Baden, Chief Forensic Pathologist, New York State Police

“Given that [Diana] was still alive after nearly two hours, if they’d have gotten her [to the hospital] in an hour, they might have saved her.”

— Dr John Ochsner, cardio-vascular surgeon

“If they had gotten [Diana] to the emergency room sooner, she would have had a far greater chance. You could never diagnose that kind of injury in the field, never.... Spending all that time on on-site treatment was absolutely the wrong approach for this patient.”

— Dr David Wasserman, emergency room doctor

“We believe that you have a ‘golden hour’ to save someone’s life… as soon as you get to the casualty, you stabilise them, then you move them as fast as possible, often by helicopter, to a centre where you can perform surgery… if [Diana] had had that done, most of us [cardiologists] think she probably would have lived.”

— Dr Stephen Ramee, cardiologist

“[Diana’s] death stunned me all the more as I was able to get a look at the particulars of the autopsy findings very soon after her death… she died of internal bleeding. The injury which caused the bleeding was to a vein which doesn’t bleed particularly quickly – in fact, it bleeds rather slowly… if Princess Diana had been brought to hospital within 10 minutes of the accident… she could have survived.”

— Prof Christiaan Barnard, cardiac surgeon


It may be that Dr Martino found it “too hot” to continue to pursue a medical career in Paris. The bank accounts and mobile phone records of those involved – Mailliez, Martino and Derossi – should have been checked as part of the investigations. They have not been.



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elocal Digital Edition – September 2020 (#234)

elocal Digital Edition
September 2020 (#234)