Published October 06, 2012
A New York appeals court rejected a request from the parents of a terminally ill Queens woman to force her to remain on life support.
The Rev. Manho Lee and Jin-ah Lee had fought to keep the tubes in their daughter, Grace Sung Eun Lee. The paralyzed 28-year-old woman had said she wants to die.
Doctors at Long Island's North Shore University Hospital said they would like to respect Lee's wishes and remove her feeding and breathing tubes.
But Lee's devout Christian parents had said that would be suicide and would keep her from going to heaven.
The Korean immigrants also claimed heavy medications have clouded their daughters thinking. They posted a video on YouTube on Thursday that, they say, showed their daughter wants to live.
In it, Lee is asked, "When do you want to leave for the nursing home?" and her answer is "Now."
David Smith is a court appointed lawyer working on the Queens woman's behalf.
"She understands she will die if the ventilator is disconnected and that is not only what she wants but she wants it right now," Smith says.
Before she became ill with brain cancer last year, Lee was working as a financial manager and was training to run the New York City Marathon.
"No one questions the depth of their commitment or the depth of their love to their daughter, Smith says. "It is none-the-less, it is the leading contributing factor to both her anxiety and lack of peace as the dying process is occurring."