Tue, Feb 26, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Videos reveal extent of Chen’s illness

MAILING MA:In Kaohsiung, former vice president Annette Lu called on the public to write to President Ma Ying-jeou and demand medical parole for Chen Shui-bian

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Rich Chang  /  Staff reporters

Control Yuan member Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) yesterday released two more videos to “reveal the true nature” of imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) illness, in a move to debunk disbelief of his health situation.

One video showed Chen’s right hand shaking ceaselessly while he was describing his situation to Huang and several physicians. The movement continued regardless of whether Chen was actively using or resting his hand.

In another video, Chen stammered out that he has problems with bed wetting and that his writing is much slower than usual.

“I-I-I-I-I-I ... It took me two hours to finish writing on a piece of A4-sized paper ... My [right] hand shook when I wrote-wrote-wrote- wrote-wrote ... so I wrote slowly,” Chen said.

Huang on Friday released a video as part of a report on how the judicial system has handled Chen’s health complaints. Chen was behind bars for nearly four years before being admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital in September last year due to a major depressive disorder and other health issues.

The three videos were all taken on Feb. 17.

The release of the first video, in which Chen was seen having difficulty walking, along with the report, sanctioned by the Control Yuan at a meeting of the Committee on Judicial and Prison Administration Affairs, has triggered a new wave of calls for medical parole for Chen.

Chou Yuan-hua (周元華), a psychiatrist at the hospital and the physician in charge of Chen, was widely reported as saying on Saturday that Chen should be allowed to go home because family therapy helps in the treatment of depressive patients.

The comment made by Chou gained extensive media coverage on Sunday.

However, later that day, the hospital issued a press release denying Chou had made the suggestion. The press release was followed by a statement by the Ministry of Justice that ruled out the possibility of Chen being granted medical parole or being allowed return home to continue his treatment.

Huang yesterday declined to comment on the reactions caused by his report, saying that he is now waiting for a reply from the Ministry of Justice and Taipei Prison. Huang said he found “flaws” and “negligence” in how they handled Chen’s illness.

During the investigation, and with help of nine physicians, Huang said he visited Chen four times for a total of 10 hours.

Despite having high praise for the medical treatment Chen has received in hospital, Huang said he found that Chen had deteriorated in three aspects— his stutter has become more pronounced and the tremors in hands and legs have become more uncontrollable.

Huang said Chen had told him that he would have either died or gone insane if he had been kept in Taipei Prison for six months more and had not been admitted to the hospital.

Meanwhile, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday launched a “writing to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to ask him to grant former president Chen Shui-bian medical parole” campaign in Greater Kaohsiung.

Chen’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), a member of Chen Shui-bian’s voluntary civilian medical team Chen Shun-sheng (陳順勝) and most Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Greater Kaohsiung councilors attended the press conference.

Lu called on the public to write letters to Ma, saying if Chen was not granted medical parole before May 20 — the anniversary of presidential inauguration — those concerned with the issue would have to play the international card and go through other nations to save the former president at any cost.

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