LET ME DIE: Cancer patient fights religious parents who fear she’ll go to hell if they let her off life support
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.
I think this is a much different argument than assisted suicide. The girl would be dead if not for human intervention. They put her on life support. She doesn’t want it. They are the ones meddling with her relationship with God.