French President Chirac remains hospitalized

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

French President Jacques Chirac continued his hospital stay Tuesday in what a government spokesperson describes as favorable conditions. Chirac was admitted on Friday to a military hospital in central Paris, where doctors called his condition a "small vascular incident" that hindered his vision.

Doctors report such a problem as he was having could range from a ruptured blood vessel to a stroke, since more than 80% of strokes are caused by blockage in an artery carrying blood to the brain. The problem reddened and bothered the eyesight of the 72-year-old Chirac.

Chirac was scheduled to meet with Gerhard Schröder in Germany Tuesday, but was forced to cancel. Anne Robert, a military physician speaking on behalf of the military health services, said the president was resting and expects to leave the hospital in a few days.

The head of the President's political party claims that nobody would stop Chirac in his quest for the presidency two years from now.

Chirac's wife was spotted leaving the Val-de-Grâce hospital where Chirac is being treated, but she refused to speak with reporters. It has been heard from French radio reports that she had just returned from a holiday in southeast France, trying to hide the fact that she was terribly concerned about her husband's current condition.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin reports upon spending about an hour visiting Chirac, he was in "good form." The Prime Minister also reports "he can't wait to leave," to reporters afterward visiting the French president.

Controversy has erupted in the French press about the initial secrecy surrounding this hospital visit, and whether the health bulletins published are reliable information. It is in particular suggested that the health bulletins are written by the president's staff, then signed by medical staff --- if only because French law prevents physicians from discussing the state of their patients except with these patients or their close family.