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Dr. René Gerónimo Favaloro (July 12, 1923 – July 29, 2000) was an Argentine cardiac surgeon best known for his pioneering work on coronary artery bypass surgery.

By the year 2000, Argentina was already submerged in an economic and political crisis, and the Favaloro Foundation was US$18 million in debt. On repeated occasions, Favaloro petitioned the Argentine government to aid the Foundation, but he never received an official response. Nor would the director of the PAMI public medical insurance agency, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, agree to pay the agency's debt to the FoundationOn July 29 of that year, Favaloro took the decision of committing suicide by shooting himself in the heart.

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