News

NYC Woman Who Fought To Be Taken Off Life Support Dies

Grace Sung Eun Lee (credit: Facebook)

Grace Sung Eun Lee (credit: Facebook)

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A New Yorker who initially battled her parents for the right to be taken off life support has died.

Grace Sung Eun Lee died Sunday at her parents’ home. She was 28.

The financial executive was found to have a tumor on her brain stem in November 2011. She was hospitalized last fall after suffering a seizure.

Lee had expressed a desire to be taken off a ventilator that helped keep her alive, a decision her parents — devout Christians originally from Seoul, South Korea — opposed. Man Ho Lee, pastor of Antioch Missionary Church in Queens, and his wife, Jin Ah Lee, sought a court order blocking doctors from removing her from a respirator. They had argued that their daughter’s wishes were tantamount to committing suicide.

State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Phelan denied their request for a restraining order to stop the hospital from granting their daughter’s wish. An appellate court upheld Phelan’s initial ruling, but after that decision was announced, Lee changed her mind and decided to yield to her parent’s wishes to fight her illness.

A service for Lee will be held Thursday at her father’s church, followed by a Friday burial.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)