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Woman who fought for right to die going home

The parents of a terminally ill New York

The parents of a terminally ill New York City woman, Grace Sung Eun Lee, are waging a court battle over whether to keep her on life support. Credit: handout

A terminally ill Queens woman who was the subject of a highly publicized right-to-die case earlier this year will spend Thanksgiving at her parents' home, the woman's legal representative said Wednesday.

Sungeon Grace Lee, 28, is in a "deep coma, but has been released from North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset into the custody of her parents," said David Smith, of Garden City, Lee's legal representative.

Smith said arrangements have been made for Lee to get proper nursing care and pain management at her parents' home in Douglaston, Queens.

"Under enormous pressure from her parents, Grace agreed to die in the way that they wished, and that's what's going on now," Smith said.

Mary Giordano, an attorney for Lee's father, Man Ho Lee, pastor of Antioch Missionary Church in Flushing, Queens, and her mother, Jin Ah Lee, declined to comment because she hadn't spoken to her clients.

Hospital spokeswoman Michelle Pinto confirmed Lee had been released Wednesday but declined further comment.

During a highly public legal battle in September, Grace Lee had said she wanted to end life support, a decision that her deeply religious parents opposed so vigorously that they sought a restraining order to stop it.

But after local and appellate judges declined their petition, saying the daughter is competent to make her own medical decisions, the former bank manager decided to abide by her parents' wishes.

Grace Lee was diagnosed with a tumor on her brain stem last year. After suffering seizures, she was rushed to North Shore University Hospital on Sept. 3. Paralyzed from the neck down, she was hooked up to a machine that breathes for her.

Although Man Ho Lee and other family members have said Grace Lee's health is improving, Smith said she has only a short time left to live.


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