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Chentreatmentamockeryofequalit

2020-08-13  点赞781   浏览量:857

Chentreatmentamockeryofequalit

<>All men are equal before the law, of course. But some are more equal than others. One of them is Chen Shui-bian, president of the Republic of China from 2000 to 2008, who is doing time for corruption and graft at Taipei Prison. He was tried on other counts in other cases, which have yet to be closed, and if eventually convicted, he might have to stay behind bars for the rest of his life without a pardon.

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<>At the end of last year, Chen's mother-in-law died and he was able to get out of prison for a one-day outing to pay his last respects to her. He wasn't handcuffed and shackled like common prisoners given leave for similar excuses, because he is an ex-president of the country. That's a privilege that he wants to keep for himself but doesn't want others to have. The president of the republic has privileges, but a former president is a commoner like everybody else, and should have been treated as such, particularly because he is a disgraced ex-president. In fact, the prison authorities should have given him the same treatment awarded a common criminal serving a long sentence. That's equality under the law.

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<>The authorities were not just lenient but magnanimous in allowing Chen the consummate defense lawyer to have an exhaustive physical at the Department of Healthhospital in Taoyuan last week. After more than two years in jail, Chen complained about poor health, suspecting that he might have colon cancer after passing some bloody excretions. The authorities had the bloody stool examined and it tested negative. But his wife, who should have been shut up in prison like her husband for almost all crimes he had committed but is excused for staying out of the doghouse due to poor health, insisted that he be given medical treatment out of prison because her father-in-law died of liver cancer and he certainly has colon cancer. As a matter of fact, the ex-first lady is very much alive and kicking as she was while helping her husband rake in at least NT$100 million through corruption and graft, and as she is able to move around in a wheelchair and campaign vehemently for her husband's out-of-prison treatment, the authorities should have ended her house arrest and put her into prison where she belongs. Women are also equal before the law, but she is more equal, albeit a former first lady is still is a commoner.

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<>The outcome of the exhaustive physical examination has proved the ex-president is not in any danger due to ill health. His colon was tested and cancer was ruled out. He had a small tumor in the seminal vesicle of his prostate, but doctors at the DOH hospital said no treatment is currently necessary. On the other hand, they gave him a cardiac catheterization for investigational purposes, and designated him an angina patient, who needs a week in hospital for medication. It's not cardiac angioplasty, the technique of medically widening narrowed or obstructed coronary arteries. The narrowed coronary arteries cause angina pectoris, or heart pain. Chen had complained also of heart pain in jail. So the cardiac catheterization was conducted not for interventional purposes to widen narrowed or obstructed blood vessels but for investigational purposes to find out whether they are narrowed or obstructed enough to warrant an interventional catheterization. Apparently, Chen's coronary arteries are not very narrow and the doctors decided not to put in stents, and ordered chemical therapy for one week. He would be examined again at the end of the week and if found healthy, he would be returned to Taipei Prison.

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<>The point is that there seems no reason why Chen should remain in the hospital for monitoring for such an extended period of time. A cardiac catheterization for interventional purposes or angioplasty requires the passing of an empty and collapsed balloon on a guide wire into the narrow location to remove fatty deposits by inflating the balloon and then taking it out. It is much more complicated and a little more risky than an investigational cardiac catheterization. But an angina patient is usually well enough in two to six hours following the cardiac angioplasty and leaves the hospital after being monitored overnight. He will return to his normal routine by the following week. Perhaps, the DOH hospital thinks it's better to let their angina patient, who did not undergo angioplasty, stay for one more week to find out if he can return to his normal routine in prison. Almost all people who undergo investigational cardiac catheterization go back home a few hours after the procedure. Moreover, the doctors went out of their way to point out what has caused his angina. Chen got it, they said, not just because he is getting older, but because he lives in such a small cell, has too little exercise, and is seldom exposed to the sun. But there are many more common causes for angina. And there are inmates in small cells, who take little exercise outdoors and are seldom exposed to the sun but get no heart pain like Chen. If they become would-be angina patients, will they be given an out-of-prison excursion?

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<>Equality before the law makes it mandatory for these would-be angina patients to receive the privileges Chen enjoys. In other words, an inmate in his sixties who complains of heart pain must be given a cardiac catheterization for investigational purposes, and if found suffering to be angina, has to stay in a hospital for monitoring for one week. Can the prison authorities afford to follow Chen's example?

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<>What is done for Chen is done. He may demand surgery to remove the tumor in the prostate seminal vesicle, which may be cancerous. He may then demand long hospitalization out of prison, maybe as long as four years to wait another change of government. He certainly will be operated on at the DOH hospital in Taoyuan. But it is hoped that a second opinion will be consulted if he is allowed a long hospitalization. That will make all men — and women — equal before the law of medicine.

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