Imprisoned Nobel laureate needs intubation ‘to stay alive’: Hospital

Beijing: Nobel Peace Prize winner and imprisoned Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo has suffered respiratory failure and “is dying,” the hospital in northern China where he is receiving treatment for terminal liver cancer said on Wednesday.
Liu’s family has been notified of his condition and has refused intubation for him, according to a statement from the First Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang.
Liu and his family, who are closely guarded inside the hospital,could not be reached for comment.
A family friend, Hu Jia, said that they were holding on to the hope that he can be transferred abroad for treatment — a desire that has also been expressed by several Western governments and organisations.
“Once they intubate him, he won’t be able to leave that very bed, since that machine cannot be stopped,” Hu said. “I think his family has one last hope — and I share the same hope — that if he still has one breath left, we are ready to take him away.”
Liu has suffered multiple organ failures, the hospital said, including kidney and liver failure, septic shock, as well as blood clots forming around his body.
“He needs tracheal intubation to stay alive,” the hospital said. “The family refused the tracheal intubation after being notified. The patient is dying. The hospital is making every effort to rescue him. The family is aware and has signed.”
A German government spokesman on Wednesday urged Chinese authorities to allow Liu to leave the country. “Germany stands ready to receive (Liu) and provide medical treatment,” the spokesman said.
The deterioration in Liu’s health comes as the Chinese Foreign Ministry this week reiterated that it would not allow him to be transferred abroad for treatment.
Liu’s situation is an “internal affair,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, in response to pleas from foreign governments and organisations that Liu and his wife, Liu Xia, be allowed to travel overseas for treatment.
“I can’t imagine Xiaobo will get away,” said his friend Ye Du. “That is their purpose: To not let him make his voice heard until he dies.” — dpa