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INTERNATIONAL 11.08.2004 Monday

Doctors Did Not Conduct Second Test on Arafat Is Brain Dead

'Official censorship' is continuing about the state of health of the Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat, who was taken under treatment in the Percy Military Hospital in Paris last week.

News claiming that Arafat opened his eyes and that 'his condition is getting better' was officially denied by the hospital yesterday (November 6), saying there was no change in Arafat's condition. Commenting on the conflicting news, one of Arafat's aides Nabil Abu Rudeyna explained that Arafat's condition was still critical. The French daily Liberation, which announced that Arafat is brain dead, claimed the French doctors had put off the second necessary test so they were not obliged to announce 'officially' that Arafat is brain dead.

To understand whether brain death occurred, an electro encephalogram (EEG), which measures cerebral function needs to be conducted two times with a four hour interval. For a brain death to be declaredin EGG, a straight line should come up in both of the measurements, which would indicate that blood circulation in the brain had stopped. Reporting that the first test yielded a negative result on Thursday (November 4), the French daily claims that the doctors did not want to conduct the second EEG test so they could postpone the announcement of Arafat's death. After hospital officials reported to the AFP that Arafat was brain dead, a new statement came from the hospital explaining there was no change in Arafat's condition.

Saying that doctors thought Arafat's condition might change, Rudeyna indicated that 'the doctors could not still diagnose Arafat's disease'. Rudeyna did not comment on the news published by the web-site of Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth claiming 'Arafat opened his eyes and communicated with his doctors'. Making a statement in front of the hospital on Friday November 5, Percy Hospital Spokesperson Dr. Christian Estripeau announced that there was no change in Arafat's condition. In a statement to AFP on Thursday, an official from the hospital explained that Arafat was already brain dead and there was no chance of his recovery. In yesterday's statement, the hospital announced that there was no change in Arafat's condition.

News claiming that Arafat's blood was taken to a third country to be examined was not confirmed and Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmet Quray indicated that Arafat might have been poisoned. Arafat's advisor, Mohamed Rasit said there was no need to bring Arafat to Palestinian territories to let him die physically. He said, 'Arafat can only leave hospital walking or dead. No other alternatives are possible'.

Ali Ihsan Aydin

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