Family split over daughter’s last wishes
A family is still in emotional limbo after their daughter won a legal battle about her right to die.
Grace Sung Eun Lee, 28, a New York City woman who was training for the New York City marathon just a year ago, now has a cancerous brain tumor — and her doctors say that she has just months to live.
Her family wants her to fight to stay alive, but her doctors say that she asked to be taken off the respirator.
This weekend, her lawyer said she chose to stay on it for now.
Her parents, who are Korean immigrants, have told reporters that they think the decision would be suicide and not in line with their religious beliefs.
Her parents filed a court order last week to try to be assigned as guardians of Lee and potentially bar any chance of taking away the respirator.
They have said that their daughter, a former bank manager, is depressed and ill and not thinking clearly.
Judges ruled last week to vacate a temporary restraining order that had been in place, freeing Lee to make her own choices.
Her attorney told the New York Post that she had made the decision herself to stay on the respirator and wanted to “make peace with her parents.”
Hospital vows to honor patients’ wishes
The hospital declined to specifically discuss Lee’s case, but released the following statement.
“North Shore University Hospital takes all decisions related to the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments seriously. These decisions require thoughtful conversations between the medical staff and the patient. This ensures that the patients’ treatment preferences are understood and followed. In all end-of-life situations, the hospital honors patient wishes, whatever they may be.”