The Ministry of Justice yesterday said jailed former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was able to urinate on his own after a Foley catheter was removed, adding that his health condition did not qualify him for medical parole.
The ministry said Chen’s difficulty urinating had improved and that his prostatitis, an inflation of the prostrate gland, was being treated by antibiotics and infrared irradiation.
Considering Chen’s condition, he can be adequately cared for in prison or on temporary stays in hospitals, the ministry said, adding that he did not qualify for medical parole.
The ministry said granting Chen medical parole should not be based on politics, referring to calls by the former president’s supporters that he be released from Taipei Prison and criticism of the conclusions reached by specialists at Taoyuan General Hospital and Chang Guan Memorial Hospital in Linkou District (林口), New Taipei City (新北市) — two hospitals where Chen received medical checkups and treatment.
Chen, 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 examinations.
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.
Chen’s family has said that according to doctors, people who have had a thrombotic stroke have a high chance of relapse within two to three years.
However, the ministry said 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.