Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Mandela book violates sanctity of doctor/patient relationship

Former Deputy Chief Judge Dikgang Moseneke Getty Images
Andrew Cummings | 25 July, 2017, 12:06

"The book was meant to portray Nelson Mandela's courage and strength until the very end of his life, and was in no way intended to be disrespectful".

Publisher Penguin has pulled a book about Nelson Mandela off the shelves after the widow and family of the former president complained that the doctor who wrote the book had not been given permission to do so.

The royal house has welcomed the decision to immediately withdraw the Mandela's Last Years book written by Vejay Ramlakan.

"If the master has not in anyway given that person authority to disseminate any information pertaining to Mr Mandela then whatever is given from there is defective consent and Graca Machel will have recourse against the person who has given the authority firstly, also to the person who disseminated the information, the publisher, and Dr Ramlakan", Singh said.

Dr. Vijay Ramlakan, who headed Mandela's medical team until his death, wrote in the book that family disagreements had a negative effect on the former president's health in his final months.

It comes amid mounting pressure from the Mandela family.

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He said the SA National Defence Force's (SANDF) policy on patient-doctor confidentiality was in force.

He also tells how an ambulance carrying Mr. Mandela to the hospital had caught fire in June 2013, or a camera spying had been discovered in the morgue where his body lay.

"We applaud Penguin for acting decisively and wish to express our honest appreciation to them for taking heed and being sensitive to the feelings of the family and those entrusted with the protection of Madiba's legacy‚" Mandla said.

His widow, Graca Machel, was not available for comment, but she was said to be consulting her lawyers on whether or not to sue Ramlakan.

"The story of Madiba's last years is actually, in a sense, more impressive than when he was a fit human being", he added, paying tribute to his "unconquerable fortitude".

The publisher said that, out of respect, for the Mandela family, no further copies of the biography would be issued, EWN reports.

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