An 84-year-old man who was sentenced to nine years in prison for killing his chronically ill wife in December last year died from heart and lung failure at Taipei Detention Center, where he was being held, the center said yesterday.
Wang Ching-hsi (王敬熙), who was housed in the sick unit at the center, was found in a coma on Friday by a warden, the center said in a statement.
“The warden immediately informed medical personnel, but Wang was pronounced dead of heart and lung failure,” the statement said.
Wang was convicted by the Taipei District Court of killing his wife of more than five decades, who had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for many years.
The retired engineer was sentenced to nine years in prison in September, but was confined to the detention center’s healthcare unit because he had hypertension and heart disease.
On Nov. 15, he was admitted to Far Eastern Memorial Hospital in New Taipei City (新北市) because his heart condition had deteriorated. He was returned to the detention center on Dec. 5.
Wang was hospitalized again on Tuesday last week and returned to the detention center on Thursday after his condition stabilized, the statement said.
The center said Wang had previously signed a no-resuscitation order.
On Dec. 27 last year, Wang called police and told them that he had euthanized his chronically ill wife in keeping with an agreement they had reached more than a decade ago “to die in peace.”
He said he gave her sleeping pills, then used a hammer to knock a screwdriver in her skull, an act he described as a “mercy killing” to end his wife’s suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
During the trial, Wang said the only reason he did not take his own life was because he hoped to raise public awareness of the need for a euthanasia law in Taiwan. After his sentencing, he said he would appeal the ruling to obtain a death sentence.