According to court records, Nelson Mandela's doctors have advised his family to take him off life support, saying that the former South African president's health is "perilous," and he's "in a permanent vegetative state."
As USA Today reports, these details come just as Mandela's final resting place in his hometown of Qunu was prepared. Additionally, the remains of his three children were transported to Qunu, their original resting place, per a court order on Thursday, following a bitter feud between family. The court documents detailing Mandela's condition were released as part of that court order.
"The anticipation of his impending death is based on real and substantial grounds," the court filing continued. "The Mandela family have been advised by the medical practitioners that his life support machine should be switched off...rather than prolonging his suffering, the Mandela family is exploring this option as a very real probability."
As the chief executive of the Faculty of Consulting Physicians of South Africa, Dr. Adri Kok explained, a younger person can sometimes be weaned off of life support to recover, but that is generally impossible for someone of Mandela's age. "It indicates a very poor prognosis for recovery because it means that he's either too weak or too sick to breathe on his own...usually if a person does need that, any person, not keeping in mind his age at all, for any person it would be indicative of a grave illness," Kok said. "When they say 'perilous,' I think that would be a fair description."
Mandela was first hospitalized on June 8th for a recurring lung infection.
[via USA Today]