Legislative Yuan should hear Taiwan ex-president's doctors: DPP
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-03-30 05:09 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The physicians in charge of former President Chen Shui-bian’s medical treatment should present a report to the Legislative Yuan to clear the multitude of rumors about his condition, opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Bikhim Hsiao said Saturday.

Chen has been staying at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital since last September to receive tests and treatment for various ailments, including a severe depression. He is serving a 20-year prison sentence for corruption.

Several officials, including Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu, Hospital Superintendent Lin Fang-yue and Chen’s resident doctor Chou Yuan-hua were scheduled to appear at the Legislative Yuan Monday to deliver a report about the former president’s health to its Foreign Relations and Defense Committee.

Hsiao, who is scheduled to chair the meeting, said many members of the public were concerned about the state of Chen’s health and about the needs of his future treatment. Only doctors directly in charge of his care would know enough to dispel all the rumors and clear up the situation for the public’s benefit, Hsiao said.

Ruling Kuomintang lawmaker Lin Yu-fang said it was not suitable to invite so many doctors to report to the committee as Chen’s medical situation was a private matter, and not an important military subject.

On Friday, Chen’s private medical team said he suffered from normal pressure hydrocephalus, an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain which could be resolved by surgery and home care. The diagnosis, which had not been reached by the hospital, was based on an analysis made by Samuel Chou, a Taiwanese neurologist based in the United States, reports said.

The hospital said it would take Chou’s report into consideration. The former president has been diagnosed with a chronic neurological disease, and recent footage showed him having difficulty walking and speaking. Earlier this month, he received surgery for hemorrhoids.

The hospital is reportedly scheduled to complete a report about Chen’s health next week before sending it to the Ministry of Justice.

A group of independent doctors has called on the government to allow medical parole for Chen because his confinement to small quarters at the Taipei Prison and has caused a severe deterioration of his health.

The campaign has won the support of foreign human rights groups and politicians, with even Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, a prominent member of the ruling Kuomintang, voicing his agreement with medical parole.

The government however has continued to say the state of the former president’s health does not correspond to the conditions for parole.

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