King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej is under careful watch by medical professionals Monday after reporting to the public that his health is failing.
The 88-year-old leader of Thailand has been hospitalized frequently during the past 10 years as his health slowly deteriorated. Bhumibol received hemodialysis and replacement of a tube that drains excess cerebrospinal fluid on Sunday, USA Today reported. His blood pressure dropped after the procedure, so he was put on a ventilator and given medication, which brought his blood pressure back up.
“The medical team are watching his symptoms and giving treatments carefully because the overall symptoms of his sickness are still not stable,” the palace said in a statement.
The popular ruler has been on Thailand’s throne for nearly 70 years. There is concern about succession should Bhumibol not survive, since the crown prince, his son Vajiralongkorn, is not nearly as well respected as his father.
Thailand’s main stock index experienced a 2.9 percent drop on Monday, and the Thai baht hit a two-month low compared to the dollar as instability shook the country as the health of the world’s longest-reigning royal remained in question.
The small nation has some of the strongest laws against royal libel in the world. Those proven to have insulted the king can face up to 15 years in prison. Recently a cleaning lady was charged with lese majeste for agreeing with a Facebook post critical of Thai’s royals, according to the UK Telegraph.
Bhumibol has not been seen in public for almost a year because of his ill health. Recent developments are worrisome for the Thai people, since negative reports about the king’s health have been very rare. King Bhumibol is also known as Rama IX, since he is the ninth monarch of the Chakri Dynasty.
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