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Human rights in China

Foreign doctors advise more MRI scans, possible radiation therapy for Liu Xiaobo

Doctors confirm that the dissident’s liver cancer has reached the terminal stage, hospital says in a statement

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 July, 2017, 10:50am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 July, 2017, 11:54pm

Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo could receive more radiation therapy for his liver cancer after he was seen by German and US medical experts on Saturday, the hospital where he is being treated said.

Family friend Mo Zhixu said the ailing dissident told the two doctors he wished to be treated overseas but the hospital said he was unfit to travel.

The doctors advised that Liu undergo further MRI scans to ­determine whether he should receive more radiation therapy, the First Hospital of China Medical University said in the statement.

Photographs released by the hospital showed Liu looking gaunt and tired as he is checked.

Professor Markus Buechler, head of the University of Heidelberg’s Department of Surgery, and Professor Joseph Herman of the University of Texas MD ­Anderson Cancer Centre spent about three hours in the afternoon with Liu at the hospital in Shenyang, Liaoning province. Liu told them he would like to be treated in either of their countries, preferably Germany, according to an RTHK report.

Liu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, a year after he was sentenced to 11 years’ jail for “inciting subversion of state power”. He had drafted a petition known as “Charter 08” with other activists calling for democracy in China.

Who is Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and what’s his story?

The two doctors “were given the patient’s detailed treatment history, visited him in the ward, heard from his family and then discussed the matter”, the hospital said. “The American and German experts fully endorsed the treatment proposal and measures undertaken by [China’s] national expert team,” it said, adding that Liu’s liver cancer was now at the terminal stage. The hospital cited the doctors as saying Liu would not receive any better treatment overseas.

The hospital said Liu had difficulty eating on Saturday, and had to rely on nutritional support and painkillers. The visiting doctors could not be reached for ­comment.

Liu’s two brothers were also granted permission to visit him on Saturday, indicating the severity of his condition, family friend ­­Ye Du said.

Liu Xiaobo vigil: doctors tell Chinese Nobel laureate’s family to prepare for his death

Meanwhile the United ­Nations human rights commission said its request to visit the ­activist had been ignored by mainland authorities. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein had asked that a senior UN official be granted access to Liu and his wife Liu Xia.

“We have so far ­received no response from the Chinese government to this ­request,” the commissioner’s spokeswoman Liz Throssell said.

Liu Xiaobo reunited with family outside jail for first time in 8 years, says friend

Liu was granted medical ­parole last month after he was diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer in May. Liu Xia, who has been under house arrest since her husband was jailed, has been by his bedside but friends said they were not allowed to visit or communicate with the couple.

Meanwhile, a new video taken just two days before Liu was arrested in 2008 emerged two days ago. In the footage, Liu said of his treatment by the law enforcement agents: “It is basically like that in China anyway, entering a bigger jail after leaving a smaller jail, and you have no privacy. You’d get arrested or the police would be at the door any time.”

Additional reporting by FactWire