Terminally Ill Woman Has Right to Die, State Appeals Court Rules

By Irene Plagianos on October 5, 2012 2:48pm 

NEW YORK – The terminally ill Manhattan banker locked in a legal battle with her family over her right to be taken off life support has the right to die, a state appeals court ruled Friday.

The deeply religious parents of Grace Sung Eun Lee, 28, who is dying of brain cancer, took legal action in September in attempt to stop their daughter from having her breathing tube removed.

The decision is the latest in a heated legal battle between a court-appointed lawyer and the parents of Lee, a financial manager at Bank of America, who is now paralyzed from the neck down and who has relied on tubes to eat and breathe since September, according to reports.

Lee's doctors at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., have said that Lee is lucid and competent and has made clear her wish to be taken off life support, the Daily News reported.

But Lee’s parents, devout Christians, believe their daughter is heavily medicated, and unable to make decisions — and went to court last month to be appointed her legal guardian. They have said they belive that going off life support is tantamount to suicide, and fear their beloved daughter will go to hell.

Lee's father, Manho Lee, is a prominent Queens Pastor. Lee moved in with her parents in Queens last year when she was stricken with cancer and underwent chemotherapy treatment. But she was rushed to the hospital in September after suffering a seizure that has left her on life support, according to reports.

On Thursday, the family uploaded a YouTube video of Lee, showing her mouth the words "yes" when asked if she wants to give her father the right to become her guardian and oversee her medical conditions.

A lower court initially granted Lee's father a restraining order, which was later overturned.

Friday's decision is upholds the latest decision siding against the parents. It's unclear whether her parents intend to pursue additional legal action.

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