Sat, Nov 09, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Chen Shui-bian’s health deteriorating fast, his office says

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The speed of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) brain degeneration is 17-and-a-half times of that of an ordinary person, Chen’s office said yesterday, calling for the immediate granting of home care for the imprisoned former president before his health deteriorates further.

Citing the findings of Chen’s private medical team and an expert panel convened by Control Yuan member Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄), the office said in a press release that Chen’s trembling, stuttering and incontinence were signs of deteriorating brain functions.

Chen is currently at Taichung Prison hospital serving a 20-year term for corruption. He has not been granted an amnesty or home care by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), despite repeated appeals by medical experts, human rights advocates and Chen’s supporters.

The former president spent several minutes answering a simple mathematics question — 100 minus seven — the office quoted National Taiwan University Hospital physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who is on Chen’s medical team, as saying.

Chen, who has either been in detention or prison since Nov. 11, 2008, has been deteriorating due to previous inhuman treatment in prison, the office said, adding that he might be bedridden for the rest of his life if he is not released.

An event marking the fifth anniversary of Chen’s imprisonment is to be held tomorrow evening at the 228 Memorial Park in Taipei, the office announced, with five aspirants for next year’s Taipei mayoral election participating.

The aspirants are four Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members — former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), DPP Legislator Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財), lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄) and Taipei City Council deputy speaker Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) — and Ko Wen-je, director of National Taiwan University Hospital’s department of traumatology.

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