Sat, Sep 22, 2012 - Page 1 News List

A-bian transferred to hospital despite family’s objections

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Former president Chen Shui-bian is escorted by police yesterday as he is transferred from Taoyuan General Hospital to Taipei.

Photo: CNA

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was yesterday transferred to Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) from Taoyuan General Hospital for further check-ups and treatments. The transfer to the TVGH was met with objections by Chen’s family, who said the hospital was “politically affiliated” with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), his son, said the family would prefer that the former president be taken to Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei or to a hospital in southern Taiwan.

Chen Shui-bian, who arrived at the TVGH at 7:30am yesterday, refused to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test that the TVGH has arranged for him.

Chen Shui-bian later agreed to take the medical tests only after being comforted by TVGH physician Kuo Cheng-deng (郭正典) — who, at the request of the Chen family, has previously visited the former president at the Taoyuan General Hospital to examine his condition — in which Kuo said he would accompany the former president during the whole medical process.

Chen Tain-hsiung (陳天雄), TVGH’s vice superintendent, said the hospital has assigned a team comprising at least 10 urologists, neurologists and psychiatrists to examine the former president.

The examination would focus on his brain, cerebrovascular system and urinary tract using non-invasive methods such as MRI scans and ultrasounds, Chen Tain-hsiung said.

The former president, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption, was admitted to Taoyuan General Hospital on Sept. 12 after complaining of having difficulty urinating.

An MRI conducted at the Taoyuan hospital showed he had had a minor stroke.

Based on a recommendation by the Taoyuan General Hospital, the Ministry of Justice decided to transfer him to a different medical center for further examination.

Separately yesterday, human rights activists Hans Wahl and Harreld Dinkins, who arrived in Taipei to access the state of Chen Shui-bian’s human rights, held a press conference before leaving the country.

Dinkins said he was shocked by Chen’s slurred and unfocused speech and the unusual level of fatigue he showed during their 20–minute-long exchanges.

They also expressed concern over the selection of the TVGH because they had doubts over the facility’s independence given that it is a military hospital. In response to the Chen’s objections, Taipei Prison said in a statement yesterday that the TVGH has no political affiliation, adding that the hospital was selected mainly because it has advanced equipment and services, pointing out that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) has also been treated at the hospital.

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