The family of jailed former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday urged authorities to pay more attention to Chen’s health problems, in light of the fact that he has previously suffered a stroke.
Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), son of the former president, said a team of neurosurgeons and urologists from major medical centers should be allowed to examine his father.
“I’ve been told by doctors that people who have had a thrombotic stroke have a high chance of relapse within two to three years,” he said during a visit to Taoyuan General Hospital to see his father.
Chen Shui-bian, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption, was sent to Taoyuan General Hospital on Wednesday night after complaining of pain when urinating and was admitted for extensive examination.
A group of Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers and medical experts on Friday said that a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test earlier that day had found that the former president has a 4mm-by-4mm trace of a cerebral vascular trauma in his right frontal lobe.
The Ministry of Justice said in a statement released later that day that the MRI showed he has a 4mm clot in his right frontal lobe that was caused by brain ischemia — a type of stroke caused by insufficient blood flow to the brain — but it is unclear when the stroke occurred.
The hospital determined that the condition was unrelated to Chen Shui-bian’s headache and speech problems, the statement said, adding that his condition does not qualify him for medical parole.
Despite the ministry’s explanations, Chen’s family and supporters continued their calls for him to be released for medical reasons.
Chen Shui-bian underwent a urine test in the hospital yesterday morning and his son said that while doctors are still investigating the cause of his father’s urination problems, the more serious problem is the clot that was discovered.
Chen Shun-sheng (陳順勝), honorary vice president of Kaohsiung Chang Guan Memorial Hospital, called in to a TV political talk show on Friday night and said that considering Chen Shui-bian’s condition, the probability that he would suffer another stroke was high.