The Chinese hospital charged with treating Liu Xiaobo has announced that the ailing Nobel laureate’s health is now failing, indicating that China’s most famous jailed dissident may not have long left to live.
The First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that Liu’s organs are failing him, leaving him in critical condition with doctors forced to resuscitate him. According to the hospital, Liu is suffering from “infectious shock” and “spontaneous peritonitis” as fluids and inflammation build up in his abdomen.
While the hospital has tried active anti-infection therapy and blood purification treatment, those procedures have not helped to improve the condition of Liu’s liver. Meanwhile, his respiratory functions have continued to worsen, apparently to the point of no return.
Doctors have asked for permission to perform a procedure for assisted breathing on Liu, but their request was denied by his family, the statement added.
Liu was recently transferred from his prison cell to a hospital room in Shenyang following a diagnosis of terminal liver cancer. Last Friday, his health reportedly took a turn for the worse with fluid filling the abdomen of the 61-year-old democracy activist who has lived behind bars since 2009 on charges of “subverting state power.” Doctors reportedly told Liu’s family to prepare for the worst, warning them that the end could come at any time.
If Liu does die soon, he will be the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in prison since 1938 in Nazi Germany. China has been trying to ward off these comparisons by releasing photos and videos for public evaluation and insisting that he is receiving “world-class” medical treatment from a team of China’s top cancer experts, but has repeatedly rejected calls from foreign governments, activists and family members for Liu to be given the freedom to seek treatment abroad with Liu’s Chinese doctors maintaining that his health is not good enough to travel.
But, over the weekend, two foreign doctors visited Liu’s hospital room and concluded that he was, in fact, well enough to go overseas. However, Liu’s Chinese doctors once again insisted otherwise and have been backed by state media. Earlier today, the Global Times released an editorial titled “China’s law, doctors decide Liu Xiaobo’s treatment” which argues that:
“Chinese people recognize Chinese law and its authoritative medical conclusions. Despite being loud in rhetoric, Western forces are not persuasive in reasoning. What they care about is not Liu’s treatment, but transferring him abroad. This is a political charade.”
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