Mandela doesn’t have living will
04 July 2013, 21:31
Johannesburg - The decision on how long Nelson Mandela will
remain on life support has been left to his family, since the ailing
former president does not have a living will, according to media reports.
The Mail & Guardian revealed that Mandela’s latest will
did not include a clause preventing him to be put on life support or how long
he can be kept alive in vegetative state.
Reports on Thursday revealed that Madiba is in a
"permanent vegetative state" according to his doctors, who have
advised that the machines keeping him alive should be switched off.
Mandela has been receiving treatment at Medi-Clinic Heart
Hospital in Pretoria since 8 June.
AFP reported that it obtained court documents containing
the claim by Mandela’s family, echoing similar earlier reports.
"He is in a permanent vegetative state and is
assisted in breathing by a life support machine," said a legal filing
related to a family dispute over reburying the remains of three of Mandela's
"The Mandela family have been advised by the medical
practitioners that his life support machine should be switched off.
The "Certificate of Urgency" document was obtained
from a lawyer representing Mandela family members, who had successfully sought
a court order to return the disputed children's remains to the Madiba’s
childhood home, after a grandson had them moved to his own village.
The document was presented to the Eastern Cape High Court
on 26 June as President Jacob Zuma
reported that Mandela's health had faltered and cancelled a trip to Mozambique.
The next day Zuma said that Mandela's condition had
"improved during the course of the night".
"He is much better today than he was when I saw him
last night. The medical team continues to do a sterling job," Zuma said in
a statement dated 27 June.
Since then the government has said Mandela's condition
remains "critical but stable", but has provided few details, citing
Speaking at the launch of the Nelson Mandela Sport &
Culture Day 2013 on Thursday, Graça Machel, said: “Madiba is sometimes
uncomfortable. Sometimes he is in pain. But he is fine."
Lawyers for Mandela's relatives, family members
themselves and government officials were not immediately available for comment.