While former president of South Africa remains in a critical condition and on life support in the hospital, the doctors who are treating him have advised his family to turn off the life support machine a week ago. The doctors have supported the removal of life support, as they say that he is in a permanent vegetative state.


The court filing on June 26, 2013 has, for the first time, shown how close the critically ill but reportedly improving Mandela, came to death. Lawyers, speaking on behalf of 15 members of Mandela’s family, said, “He is in a permanent vegetative state and is assisted in breathing by a life support machine”. The family of Mandela has been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support machine must be switched off, instead of prolonging his suffering.

Meanwhile, the family of Mandela is considering this option as a very real probability. When it comes to a young person, he or she can be put on a mechanical ventilator and can be weaned off the machine and recover, but this is very unlikely for an older person. Dr. Adri Kok said that this is a very poor prognosis for recovery, as it means that either he is too weak or too sick to breathe on his own.