Court documents show that doctors treating South African civil rights icon Nelson Mandela said he was in a “permanent vegetative state” and advised his family to take him off life support, Agence France-Presse reported Thursday.
“He is in a permanent vegetative state and is assisted in breathing by a life support machine,” said a court filing dated June 26 obtained by AFP. “The Mandela family have been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support machine should be switched off.”
Presidency spokesman Mac Maharaj would not give comment to AFP on the documents.
“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,” he told AFP.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.