Long Island News

Parents against daughter's wish to die

Friday, October 05, 2012

A family's fight to keep their daughter alive after she says she wants to die.

The young woman is paralyzed and on a breathing tube.

Doctors agree her condition won't improve, but because of their religious beliefs, her parents fear she'll go to hell.

In her fourth floor hospital room, doctors say Grace Lee is yearning to die. Begging to have her feeding tubes removed and her ventilator, shut-off.

"This is someone who wants to be at peace," said the patient's attorney, David Smith.

Grace is represented by an attorney, because her own parents have filed a lawsuit determined to keep Grace on life-support against her wishes.

In a news conference this afternoon, Grace's mother sobbed uncontrollably as her husband explained in Korean, that the doctors must be stopped.

"My daughter is depressed and heavily-medicated," he said. "They have no right to take someone's life."

Grace was working as a bank manager when she was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor one year ago. Last month she suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed.

In court, her doctor testified, "She is very tearful when she thinks about dying, but she consistently asks that the breathing tube be removed and she begs us to do that."

Her attorney says the law is clearly on Grace's side, and doctors have insisted that her judgment is not impaired.

But her father, who is a minister in Queens says his religion forbids it and has told Grace that she will go to hell if she goes through with it.

"When someone sets a date and time to die, that is suicide. And suicide," said Rev Lee, "is a sin."

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new york city, long island news, n.j. burkett
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