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Wu Shu-chen urges medical treatment of Chen Shui-bian

Wu Shu-chen urges medical treatment of Chen Shui-bian

The wife of Taiwan’s jailed ex-president Chen Shui-bian said Thursday that her husband is sick and should be in a hospital rather than being treated in prison where he is serving time for graft. Former First Lady Wu Shu-chen urged judicial authorities on behalf of her husband to grant Chen a release from prison for medical treatment.
Wu Shu-chen, who is confined to a wheelchair, made the remarks after visiting Chen, who is serving a 17-and-a-half year sentence on two bribery convictions in a case in which Wu was given the same sentence.
Wu said Chen appeared to have been suffering from exhaustion and liver problems since he was granted a release to go to the funeral of Wu’s mother in Tainan in January.
“He looks tired and has digestive disorders these days,” said Wu, who has been paralyzed from the waist down since a car accident 28 years ago. The 59-year-old, who has been spared prison because of poor health, said she was especially worried by the fact that many of his family members have fallen victim to lung cancer in the past.
Wu, who is subject to house arrest during her 17-and-a-half-year prison sentence because of bad health, said she did not rule out organizing a protest against President Ma Ying-jeou if the release were not granted.
Prison spokesman Su Kun-ming said of Wu’s plea, “We have received the request, which will be reviewed contingent on the results of a health check to be arranged soon.”
According to Chen’s lawyer Shih Yi-lin, the former president suspects that he has colon cancer and plans to apply to receive medication outside the prison. During a recent visit to the jail, Shih learned that Chen has been having frequent bowel movements and sometimes times makes five to six trips a day to the restroom. He says he has also been bothered by chest tightness and is often uncomfortable.
Noting the poor health of his mother and aging grandmother, who is 85 years old, the former president’s son Chen Chih-chung said he would file a request to have Chen Shui-bian relocated to a prison in southern Taiwan so that it would be more convenient for his family to visit.
Former Vice-president Annette Lu and former Premier Frank Hsieh have called for the Taipei Prison to monitor more closely the physical condition of former President Chen Shui-bian, who has complained of stomach distress and digestive tract disorders and suspects he may have cancer of the liver.
Lu visited Chen in Taipei Prison the morning of February 1 and was followed in the afternoon by Chen’s son Chen Chih-chung, who also talked with the media about his father’s medical problems.
Lu commented on Chen’s ‘dark appearance’, cold hands and unsteady walk and noted that Chen had told her he was experiencing the same symptoms described by a former jail inmate who had been diagnosed with cancer of the liver. Chen Chih-cheng echoed much of Lu’s remarks, adding that he suggested Chen be moved to a facility in southern Taiwan closer to where his family lives in Kaohsiung so they can visit him more often and check on his condition themselves.
Lu asked prison authorities to check on the former president’s complaints, leading prison spokesman Luo Chih-cheng to speak with reporters and deliver a promise that prison medical staff will follow up on Lu’s request.
Frank Hsieh urged prison authorities to act quickly in carrying out checks and tests on Chen’s medical condition, saying that if poor medical attention leads to illness or deterioration of his internal organs it would be tantamount to ‘negligent homicide’ on their part.


Updated : 2021-07-27 21:01 GMT+08:00