Thai Palace: King’s Kidneys Still Not Functioning Properly

By Associated Press 8 September 2016

BANGKOK — King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s kidneys are still not functioning properly, but infections plaguing the 88-year-old monarch have eased, Thailand’s royal palace announced Wednesday.

An announcement said the king is receiving continuous renal replacement therapy, a treatment for critically ill patients with acute kidney failure. It said that he is still producing insufficient urine.

The medical bulletin said an infection which the palace described last week as “severe” had decreased and there was less liquid in his lungs.

The king, the world’s longest-reigning monarch, has been hospitalized for much of the past decade. Because Bhumibol has been king since 1946, there is great concern about his eventual succession by 64-year-old Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn, who has not earned the same respect as his father.

While he is a constitutional monarch with no formal political role, Bhumibol has generally been regarded as Thailand’s unifying figure. However, as his health has deteriorated, his participation in public affairs has sharply declined in recent years.

Concern about succession has been entwined with Thailand’s political turmoil in the past decade, as royalists have sought to ensure that they control the process instead of certain politicians whose fealty to the monarchy they doubt.

On the first day of trading after the initial announcement last Friday of the king’s kidney dysfunction, the Thai stock market saw a major drop, reflecting the general uncertainty.