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Chen Shui-bian’s physical condition continues to worsen
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-12 03:44 PM
The health of former president Chen Shui-bian continues to deteriorate, with the latest reports suggesting that he could be suffering severe brain shrinkage.

Currently in the sixth year of a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption at Taichung prison in central Taiwan, Chen has shown signs that his physical condition is steadily worsening and is now said to be suffering from a variety of ailments including depression, sleep apnea, a speech disorder and cerebral atrophy. In June Chen attempted to hang himself using a towel, but was stopped by prison security.

Taipei Veterans General Hospital physician Kuo Cheng-deng revealed Sunday that brain scans have shown a 17 per cent decrease in cognitive ability over the past few months. Chen now struggles with basic arithmetic problems and spent five minutes when asked to calculate 100 minus seven, said Kuo.

Kuo noted that Chen is scheduled for surgery in a couple of weeks in an attempt to alleviate his sleep apnea. It will be the third surgery he has undergone since being admitted to prison.

The former president is also said to be incontinent, wetting himself eight to 12 times a day, according to Ko Wen-je, the director of National Taiwan University Hospital’s Trauma Department.

President Ma Ying-jeou has repeatedly rejected calls for Chen to be pardoned, saying the former leader is receiving adequate care in prison.

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