Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) personal medical team last night said that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is no longer fit to be the team’s convener after Ko said that Chen had faked his illness before actually falling ill.
Chen was sentenced to a 20-year jail term for corruption, but was granted medical parole in January 2015 after being diagnosed with illnesses including sleep apnea, suspected Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis.
In a TV interview with media personality Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) that aired on Friday evening, Ko, who was a member of Chen’s voluntary medical team before assuming the mayorship in 2014, was asked about Chen’s health, to which he said Chen “pretended to be sick at first and later actually became sick.”
Screengrab from Jaw Shao-kong Situation Room
Kaohsiung Chang Kung Memorial Hospital Department of Neurology physician Chen Shun-sheng (陳順勝), a member of the medical team, yesterday said that Ko has over the past two years attended the team’s meetings only once or twice a year and has not been fully cognizant of Chen’s health condition for a long time.
Since Ko is convener in name only, the team in a provisional meeting has passed a motion to expel Ko so that he would not misrepresent the team again with inaccurate remarks, Chen Shun-sheng said.
Earlier yesterday, the team’s spokeswoman Janice Chen (陳昭姿) posted a consultation report on Facebook that Ko and Taipei Veterans General Hospital physician Kuo Cheng-deng (郭正典) prepared after visiting Chen Shui-bian in prison on May 9, 2012, to assess his health.
In the report Ko said that “Chen Shui-bian is seriously ill and shows behaviors [characteristic] of anxiety disorder” and “the former president is locked in prison and can only move around in a jail cell of 1.3 ping [4.3m2] — anyone in his situation would likely become sick.”
They also said that Chen Shui-bian showed seven major symptoms that had to be further examined or treated, including gastroesophageal reflux, cold shock, difficulty breathing and chest pain, Janice Chen said.
Reporters yesterday asked Ko whether his remark about Chen Shui-bian was a slip of the tongue as Taipei City Government spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) claimed on Friday evening.
“More accurately, he had a psychosomatic disease at first,” Ko said, adding that it meant Chen Shui-bian had mental problems that affected his physical condition.
Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed that there were pathological changes in his brain, which led to pathological changes in other body parts, Ko said.
Liu late last night said that Ko’s remarks during the interview were “imprecise” and urged people not to sow discord between Ko and Chen Shui-bian.
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