[QODLink]
Africa

Report: Mandela in permanent vegetative state

Court documents obtained by AFP reveal anti-apartheid icon's family advised to turn off life support machine.

Last Modified: 04 Jul 2013 19:02
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The South African presidency still maintains that former President Mandela is critical but stable [Reuters]

Doctors treating Nelson Mandela have said the anti-apartheid icon was in a "permanent vegetative state" and advised his family to turn off his life support machine a week ago, according to court documents obtained by the AFP news agency.

"He is in a permanent vegetative state and is assisted in breathing by a life support machine," said the court filing dated June 26.

"Rather than prolonging his suffering, the Mandela family is exploring this option as a very real probability," read a filing from the family's lawyer, relating to a dispute over the final resting place of South Africa's first democractically elected black president.

Since the document was written, the government, family members and people visiting Mandela have reported his condition has improved.

"He is clearly a very ill man, but he was conscious and he tried to move his mouth and eyes when I talked to him," Denis Goldberg, one of the men who was convicted with Mandela, told AFP after visiting him on Monday.

"He is definitely not unconscious," he said adding that "he was aware of  who I was."

Goldberg said he was asked by Mandela's wife Graca Machel to pay him a visit "just to give him mental stimulation".

President Jacob Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj refused to comment on the documents. 

"We don't have a comment on that," Maharaj told AFP, citing doctor-patient confidentiality.

"We have indicated from our point of view that based on the doctors' report the condition of the former president is critical but stable at this stage."

Mandela's wife earlier on Thursday said that while occasionally the former president has been uncomfortable during his nearly one month hospital stay, he has seldom been in pain.

"Now we are about 25 days we have been in hospital," Machel said, giving thanks for the outpouring of well wishes from around the world for the Nobel peace laureate.

"Although Madiba sometimes may be uncomfortable, very few times he is in pain," she said.

The former president, who turns 95 later this month, was rushed to hospital on June 8 with a recurring lung infection.

352

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list