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Family of Liu Xiaobo declines artificial ventilation

13 July 2017

The hospital's website has been giving regular updates about Liu's condition since he was admitted early last month after he was transferred from prison due to late-stage liver cancer.

The First Hospital of China Medical University, in the northeastern city of Shenyang, said Liu's family declined to have him put on artificial ventilation, which was necessary "to maintain life".

Liu, a former professor who helped negotiate with the military for the safe passage of students during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, was convicted in 2009 of inciting subversion for his role in the "Charter 08" movement calling for political reform and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Liu's plight has come under a global spotlight amid allegations from his supporters that he had become gravely ill because his cancer wasn't detected and treated in time in prison - and that China has refused to let him seek treatment overseas for political reasons despite calls from other governments, including the US.

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That said, he agreed with Setiawan's take: "We can reassure moderate coffee drinkers that they can continue", Guallar said. She's an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine.

Liu could become the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who passed away in a hospital while held by the Nazis in 1938.

Liu's friends have voiced suspicion over the hospital's statements, which suggest a worsening of his condition soon after two foreign doctors said he was well enough to travel overseas.

"We hope relevant countries can respect China's judicial sovereignty and not use such individual case to interfere in China's domestic affairs", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a briefing Wednesday.

The hospital, which earlier reported that he had suffered organ failure, said Liu's liver function had deteriorated despite three days of anti-infection and blood treatment.

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Two foreign doctors who were permitted to visit Liu said Sunday they deemed him strong enough to leave the country with appropriate care, apparently contradicting Chinese expert opinion.

It was not possible to confirm the information on Wednesday amid heightened security around the hospital and increased surveillance of Liu's family members to prevent them from talking to his friends and the media. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize in absentia for his work campaigning for human rights in China.

It added that Liu had a history of hepatitis B before imprisonment and prison authorities had provided him with an annual physical examination as well as monthly checkups, and no abnormal conditions had been found before the recent diagnosis.

The German embassy in Beijing later said in a statement the recordings were made against the expressed wishes of the German side.

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Family of Liu Xiaobo declines artificial ventilation