Ex-president's health national security issue: medical team
By Enru Lin,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former President Chen Shui-bian's health is a matter of Taiwan's national security, said his medical team yesterday in their fresh appeal for his medical parole.
January 11, 2013, 12:18 am TWN
“The president's health is important to national security, foreign diplomacy, national defense and Taiwan's general safety,” said neurologist Chen Shuen-shun (陳順勝).
Some of Chen Shui-bian's motor and language faculties are blunted, but he remains mentally sharp, according to Chen Shuen-shun, who sits on a private panel of doctors who have worked on the case since last April.
“I believe his brain contains a lot of information. So my request as a Taiwan national is to treat him like a former president,” he said, calling again for the patient to be returned home for medical care.
Chen Shuen-shun and five other members held a press event yesterday at the Legislative Yuan, accompanied by Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) and Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers Kao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃).
Prison for the Holidays?
The former president, who is serving an 18.5-year sentence for graft, has been hospitalized at Taipei Veterans General Hospital since Sept. 21 for multiple disorders.
Taipei Prison has privately requested that Chen Shui-bian return by Chinese New Year, said Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) yesterday.
According to Chen Chih-chung, a Taipei Prison official said that there will be a shortage of prisoner security officers and other personnel during the holiday season.
The official asked Chen Shui-bian to voluntarily apply for his own return by Feb. 10 and said his cell's conditions have improved “past his expectations,” according to Chen Chih-chung, who told media that his father declined the request.
Taipei Prison denied his statement, saying that Chen Shui-bian's security detail does not face a manpower shortage over the holidays. There is no set timetable for a hospital discharge, according to Taipei Prison.
Prison Equals Death
At Legislature on Thursday, Chen Shui-bian's medical team said that a return to prison is a death sentence.
Chen Shui-bian has four life-threatening conditions: clinical depression with strong suicidal tendencies, delusional disorder, severe sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease. Each condition is bound to worsen within Taipei Prison, according to Chen Chiao-chicy (陳喬琪), a staff psychiatrist at Mackay Memorial Hospital.
Last July, physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of National Taiwan University Hospital (台大醫院) said the patient may die within four years under conditions at Taipei Prison. “Today, I very much agree. It is possible that it would happen in even less time,” Chen Shuen-shun.