Chen’s hospital statement questioned

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 12, 2012 - Page 3

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday agreed to stay at Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) for further examination and treatment, but a confidant said Chen was forced to do so by Taipei Prison authorities.

Chen, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption and has been in the hospital since Sept. 21 for treatment of various complications, announced his agreement in a press release issued by his office yesterday afternoon.

The imprisoned former president had refused to be treated at the hospital, but said yesterday the doctor-patient relationship between him and the hospital, designated by Taipei Prison, has improved.

A previous request by Chen and his family for him to be treated at Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital in Kaohsiung or Mackay Memorial Hospital in Taipei was rejected by Taipei Prison.

Former Northern Taiwan Society director Janice Chen (陳昭姿) said yesterday that Chen Shui-bian was forced to make the reluctant decision after being given only two options by the prison — returning to Taipei Prison or staying at TVGH.

The prison also asked the former president to announce his decision and describe his stay at TVGH by means of a press release, according to Janice Chen.

Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), the former president’s son, wrote on his Facebook page yesterday that the request to transfer to another hospital had been rejected and his father had no choice but to stay.

“I wonder why a patient could not have a say about what he is most comfortable with and choose where he wants to be treated. Was there any political consideration in this?” he wrote.