Quote# 89960

Doctors at Long Island’s North Shore Hospital say Grace Sung Eun Lee is competent and made her wishes clear. Woman's parents say removing her from life support would be suicide and condemn her to hell

She is paralyzed from the neck down, tethered to breathing and feeding tubes — but Manhattan bank manager Grace Sung Eun Lee still managed to mouth four words Wednesday.

“I want to die.”

Doctors are trying to honor Lee’s wish, but her devout parents believe that removing the tubes is suicide — a sin that would condemn the 28-year-old to hell.

They’ve gone to court to keep the terminally ill brain-cancer patient on life support, turning a heartbreaking family tragedy into a right-to-die legal battle.

The case has put medical ethics and religion on a collision course, with lawyers arguing in two courtrooms while the patient at the center of the fight can do little more than blink her eyes.

“The thought of her dying, my heart tremors, everything goes black,” Grace’s father, prominent Queens pastor the Rev. Manho Lee, pleaded to a judge.

Her mother, Jin-ah Lee, does not believe her always dutiful daughter has given up on life — or that her death is inevitable.

“Despite all this confusion, she wants to go to heaven,” she told the Daily News. “I keep telling her she can get better. God’s going to save you.”

The congregation at Antioch Missionary Church is praying for Grace, who mentored young people. The day after the Korea Times wrote about the case, a Korean church group took out an ad that declared: “Giving up life is not the will of God.”

Lee’s Korean immigrant parents say she is depressed and not in her right mind.

“We believe that our daughter is really heavily medicated and unable to make her own decisions,” her father said Wednesday.

But her doctors at Long Island’s North Shore Hospital say she’s competent and has made her wishes clear.

“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,” Dr. Dana Lustbader, chief of palliative medicine at North Shore, testified at an emergency hearing last week.

Manho Lee and Jin-ah Lee, nydailynews.com 50 Comments [10/8/2012 3:47:43 AM]
Fundie Index: 51

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Why do her parents even have a say if this woman is able to make her wishes clear? She's not a child.

10/8/2012 4:43:47 AM

Leighton Buzzard

She's going to die anyway. Let her go quietly.

10/8/2012 4:48:59 AM

Doubting Thomas

Yet another case of parents refusing to face the reality of the death of their child, so they're going to keep her alive artificially and make her suffer rather than letting her die the way she wants to.

10/8/2012 5:10:00 AM

@Doubting Thomas

Refusing to face reality is pretty much a definition of religious nuts like these.

10/8/2012 5:21:56 AM


Well, that's it, my day's ruined.

10/8/2012 5:24:56 AM


This is too tragic to ridicule

10/8/2012 5:37:08 AM

Mister Spak

Doctors are trying to honor Lee’s wish, but her devout parents believe that removing the tubes is suicide — a sin that would condemn the 28-year-old to hell. "

But she's a heathen chinee so she's going to hell anyway.

10/8/2012 5:45:09 AM


Her parents are morons. Maybe if a fellow Christian with theology smarts who doesn't think suicide leads to hell can talk some sense into these people.

This should be a done deal no matter what her parents think! Screw them. The patient is an ADULT 28 year old bank manager who, I presume, was an independent woman living on her own (until the cancer took her mobility). She is legally no longer under her parent's power. She's still conscious and can barely speak. She wants to die! No mystery! Done deal! GRANT HER HER WISH! SHE WILL NOT GO TO HELL! HER FUNDIE PARENTS ARE IDIOTS! SHE'LL BE IN HEAVEN & THEY WILL SEE HER AGAIN! DAYUM!


The only good Christianity is Liberal/Moderate/Gnostic/Esoteric Christianity. NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY THAT SUICIDE WOULD LEAD TO HELLFIRE! That's a man-made load of BS by sadistic religious big shots who love CONTROL and who RELISH WITH A FAT ERECTION THE SIGHT OF SUFFERING!


Sorry for the All-Caps but I had to make my point. I'm miffed. Let the poor lady die so she can be at peace with Deity!

10/8/2012 6:05:11 AM

Felix Nephthys

Her "parental units" are the ones who are not competent

10/8/2012 6:11:46 AM

The Crimson Ghost

This is just reprehensible.

Her parents should be ashamed of themselves. I hope this doesn't turn into another Schiavo spectacle.

10/8/2012 6:13:22 AM


What kind of moronic God do you worship that would send a woman to hell (eternal torture) just because she wants to die humanely instead of suffering for the rest of her life in horrible pain and near complete immobility? That's a monster, not a God. Actually, even if someone is a serial rapist that person doesn't deserve eternal torture. Hell, HITLER doesn't even deserve eternal torture so why does this woman deserve eternal torture? She doesn't. And the mere existence of hell would be enough to make your God a complete monster; if hell and God actually existed, that is.

10/8/2012 6:16:39 AM


Oh, great.

As if suffering so badly that death is the only relief you can look forward to weren't bad enough. When you know you're going to die, the last thing I can imagine wanting to have to deal with is my parent's inability to accept it and cope with it. I don't want to hear "it's ok, you'll get better, magic sky-daddy will fix you all up." I want to hear "it's ok. We're here with you. We're not going anywhere. We'll be here until the end. We love you." If I were so inclined (I'm not) I might like hearing "you'll go to heaven and we'll see you there soon."

It's a horrible situation. Obviously for all concerned, but the parents are not making it any easier on anyone - least of all themselves.


10/8/2012 6:32:17 AM

Martha Jones

Not sure about this, but I heard Miss Lee has actually changed her mind about this, but she did win her right to die.

10/8/2012 6:39:40 AM


The parents seem less mature than Grace. She seems to have come to term with the fact that there is nothing to hope for, but they cling to fairy tales and dreams. She's a grown up, she ought to be able to decide for herself.

10/8/2012 6:43:40 AM

A Buddhist

Ah Korea, how I mourn for thee.
Thou who wert once Buddhist and free

10/8/2012 7:05:55 AM


I'm sure these are the same type of people who insist that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. If they really believed that there is no way they put their daughter through this.

10/8/2012 7:20:37 AM


I understand she won the right in court to have the life support removed, but has now changed her mind to honor her parents' wishes; so for the moment it appears to be a dead issue.

10/8/2012 7:24:34 AM


Looks like her fundie parents managed to get her medicated enough to brainwash her into changing her mind.

10/8/2012 7:34:11 AM


I'm sure these are the same type of people who insist that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. If they really believed that there is no way they put their daughter through this.

10/8/2012 7:41:12 AM

Mystik Spiral

“Giving up life is not the will of God.”

But apparently brain cancer and a severely diminished quality of life IS the will of god. Yay god.

10/8/2012 8:28:28 AM


Yet another instance of religion rearing its ugly head where it has no right to. The woman is 28, not a child. She can think for herself and should have control over her own life! What despicable people her parents are, that they would keep her a prisoner in her own body, forced to live as a slave with no control over her life.

10/8/2012 9:28:43 AM

Thinking Allowed

This is why it's important to have living wills drawn up.

10/8/2012 9:40:01 AM

Joe Mama

And people often wonder what the harm is in believing in religion. If her parents didn't have this "suicide means you go to hell" belief, she could end her life and be at peace.

10/8/2012 9:53:20 AM


"I keep telling her she can get better"

This suggests to me that the parents are still heavily in denial about what has happened to their daughter, and that this is driving their actions as much as any religious belief is.

So as much as I disagree with what they are doing to block their daughters wishes, I can't really put them on the same level as the usual fundies we see here.

10/8/2012 10:02:37 AM


The question really isn't whether she changed her mind or not, the question is why in the world parents in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA can stop their 28 old year daughter from using her rights as a patient.

A patient has the right to let the machines that keep her or him alive to be turned off, that anyone except a psychiatrist or a neurologist (who actually have freakin' idea about this) can stop that from happening is shameful to an entire judicial system.

So this isn't spectacular because her parents are awfull and selfish - many parents are awful -, this is spectacular because it shows how far reasonable people have withdrawn from power to not insult fundamentalist, to not tell them publicly that they are crazy. It is spectacular because it shows how politically bankrupt America has become.

10/8/2012 10:39:38 AM

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