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Senator McCain to Discontinue Medical Treatment


Sen. John McCain speaks at a rally in support of Republican Sen. Thad Cochran at the Mississippi War Memorial in Jackson, Miss., June 23, 2014.

The family of U.S. Senator John McCain has announced he is discontinuing medical treatment for terminal brain cancer.

The family made the announcement Friday, saying McCain had "surpassed expectations for his survival" since making his cancer diagnosis public last year.

"But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict," the statement continued. "With his usual strength of will," it said, "he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment."

McCain has been undergoing treatment for aggressive glioblastoma since July 2017.

Despite two unsuccessful campaigns for the presidency in 2000 and 2008, McCain is one of the most prominent lawmakers in Washington. A Republican, he has worked with Democrats, as well as members of his own party, on such issues as climate change, immigration reform, and campaign finance reform.

McCain made a dramatic return to Washington last year just two weeks after surgery to cast the deciding vote -- and one against the party line -- on the Republican effort to repeal former U.S. president Barack Obama's health care reform law.

McCain first rose to fame as a prisoner of war who was tortured and held for five years during the Vietnam War. As a senator, he returned to Vietnam multiple times and made it his work to see that the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in Vietnam were returned home.

In 2016, he told VOA he worked to help heal the relationship between the United States and Vietnam. "I worked very, very hard for normalizing our relations," he said, referring to the diplomatic relationship between Washington and Hanoi. "I wanted to heal the wounds of war. I wanted many of our veterans who have been unable to do so, to come all the way home."

He went on to note that "relations between the Vietnamese people and the United States government have never been better."

McCain has been living at his home in Arizona since December.