Former PM Ariel Sharon
Former PM Ariel Sharon Israel news photo: Flash 90

After hours of speculation, the director of Sheba Medical Center has officially confirmed that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is in critical condition, and is not expected to survive for long.

Professor Zev Rothstein told reporters that Sharon’s organs are failing.

Sharon’s condition has alternately deteriorated and improved again over the last several weeks, he said, but this time things are different. “Over the past two days we’ve seen a steady decrease in the function of critical organs,” he explained.

“The situation is currently critical, and his life is definitely at risk,” he added.

Despite this, he said, doctors will not be pursuing aggressive treatment. “Arik Sharon is not getting dialysis. If the problem were with just one organ, there might be room to consider it, but because the problem is with several organs, there is no point,” he explained.

Sharon “is a man’s man, strong, he’s recovered from serious situations,” Rothstein said. However, he said, “I am not a prophet, but the feeling among the medical staff and family members is that things are worse.”

He declined to estimate how long the former Prime Minister has to live, saying only, “The feeling everyone has is that the deterioration in his condition is very serious.”

Sharon, now 85, has been comatose since suffering a serious stroke in January 2006, during his term as Prime Minister.