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Mthatha court releases to the press on July 4, 2013, a 'Certificate of Urgency' to describe Nelson Mandela's health. Document written by D. A. Smith, (the advocate for the family) June 26, 2013, says: I (the advocate for the family ) have been advised by my instructing attorney that Mr. Nelson Mandela has taken a turn for the worst (sic) and that 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.

Mthatha court releases to the press on July 4, 2013, a 'Certificate of Urgency' to describe Nelson Mandela's health. Document written by D. A. Smith, (the advocate for the family) June 26, 2013, says: I (the advocate for the family ) have been advised by my instructing attorney that Mr. Nelson Mandela has taken a turn for the worst (sic) and that 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.

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Former South African President Nelson Mandela's health had declined so sharply last week that his family was considering whether to take him off life support before his condition improved, a court document released Thursday revealed.