Wednesday 21 February 2018

Woman changes mind after winning right to die case

Nick Allen Los Angeles

A terminally ill 28-year-old woman, who won a court battle against her own parents over her right to die, has changed her mind at the last minute.

Sungeun Grace Lee, a former financial manager, is suffering from a brain tumour, is paralysed from the neck down, and communicates by blinking. In September she was given a few months to live.

Ms Lee wanted to have her ventilator switched off at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, but her deeply religious, South Korean-born parents objected.

On Friday the New York Court of Appeals decided that she was competent to make her own decision, meaning her parents could not go against her wishes. Her father, Rev Manho Lee, a minister at Antioch Missionary Church in New York City, had argued that his daughter was on medication and depressed and was not capable of making the decision.

Speaking before the court ruling, Rev Lee, as his wife Jin Ah Lee wept nearby, said: "When someone sets a date and time to die, that is suicide. And suicide is a sin. I cannot imagine my daughter is suicidal."

A day after the court ruling Ms Lee changed her mind and agreed to sign over responsibility for her health care decisions to her father.

Ms Lee's lawyer David A Smith told the 'New York Times': "When I asked her if she's doing this to make peace with her parents, she told me she was doing it to make peace with her parents and to make peace with God."

The case has been playing out on a Facebook page set up by those who sided with the family, which has been deluged with comments from people on both sides of the debate.

A statement on the page said: "Thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedule to pray for Grace. God bless you all." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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