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FILE -- In this Jan. 31, 2006 file photo former South African President Nelson Mandela smiles during his meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa. Some relatives of Mandela say a new book by a military doctor that documents Mandela's treatment before his 2013 death violates doctor-patient confidentiality. However, the now-retired doctor, Vejay Ramlakan, said in an interview broadcast over the weekend on the eNCA news channel that the Mandela family had requested that the book be written. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

A new book about Nelson Mandela's medical treatment has stirred controversy



A new book by a former South African military doctor offers details about Nelson Mandela's medical treatments before his 2013 death.

Some of the anti-apartheid leader's relatives, however, say the book violates doctor-patient confidentiality laws. Retired doctor, Vejay Ramlakan, told eNCA news channel that some members of Mandela's family had requested that he write the book. Still, he declined to say which family members have since objected to it.

Mandela's family has fought over the Nobel laureate's inheritance for years.

"Mandela's Last Years," discloses information about Mandela's health while he was imprisoned during white minority rule, during his tenure as South Africa's first black president and in retirement. It also gives readers a look at the final moments of Mandela's life, when he was suffering from a lung infection.

"It documents the complex medical decisions; disputes between family members and staff; military, political, financial and security demands; constant scrutiny from the press; and the wishes of Mandela himself, all of which contributed to what he and those closest to him would experience in his final days," according to Penguin Random House, the publisher.

Mandela's widow, Graca Machel, said she is now considering legal action over the book. A grandson of the anti-apartheid added that the book may contain ethical violations.

During his interview with eNCA news, Ramlakan emphasized that he had permission to write the book.

"All parties who needed to be consulted were consulted," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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