Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) Shen Chun-shan (沈君山), a former president of National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu City, northern Taiwan, passed away Wednesday at the age of 86 at Mackay Memorial Hospital's Hsinchu branch, the university said in a statement.
The retired academic was admitted to the hospital Sept. 5 suffering from fever and a swollen belly. After a colonoscopy, doctors found a twisted and necrotic section in Shen's intestine, the statement said.
After treatment, Shen showed signs of recovery, but a few days later doctors found that his intestines had ruptured.
Shen's son Shen Hsiao-chin (沈曉津), a physician, decided along with his mother that they would not consent to a suggested invasive surgical procedure so that the patient, who had already been bedridden for many years, could die in peace, the statement said.
Hsing Hua Univeristy said Shen had a third severe stroke in 2007, since when he had been unconscious and unable to speak.
Shen's body will be cremated according to his wishes and there will be no formal ceremony, according to his family. Nevertheless, the university will organize a memorial service some time in the near future, Hsing Hua said.
Shen, born in 1932 in Nanjing, China, was a physician and Go master. He taught at the Department of Physics of Hsing Hua University after his return to Taiwan in 1973 from the United States, where he acquired a doctoral degree in physics at the University of Maryland in 1961.
He was elected as Hsing Hua University president in 1994 and served in the post until 1997.
Meanwhile, after learning about Shen's death, former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said it is a major loss for the country and society, according to a statement released by Ma's office.
Describing Shen as a genius scholar with multiple talents, Ma said that Shen had long cared about Taiwan's democratic development and cross-Taiwan Strait affairs.
As Hsing Hua's president, Shen successfully built the school into a "complete university" upholding democracy and freedom and with great academic achievements, Ma was cited as saying in the statement.
Ma, an old friend of Shen for 30 years, praised Shen for having made a lot of contributions to the country and society, Ma's office said.
(By Kuan Rui-ping, Lee Shu-hua and Elizabeth Hsu)