DNR advocate dies after respirator fails

Feb. 12, 2013 at 3:04 PM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The terminally ill New York City woman who won a court fight over her parents not to be placed on life support only to change her mind has died, family said.

Grace Sung Eun Lee, 28, died Sunday after the respirator she'd been placed on last fall stopped working. Lee had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and her deeply religious father, Manho Lee, asked to be appointed his daughter's guardian. Lee, a Korean pastor, believes going off a respirator is akin to suicide and a sin, the New York Daily News said Tuesday.

The younger Lee sued, saying she didn't want to live on a respirator and eventually a New York appeals court agreed, saying it was the younger Lee's decision to make, not her father's.

The matter was moot, though, when the younger Lee agreed to go on life support. She lived for several months on the respirator in her childhood bedroom in Queens, the Daily News said. She would communicate by blinking out letters to her family.

On Sunday, her brother Danny Lee said the respirator began making odd noises. A replacement couldn't be found during the weekend. The family rushed Lee to a hospital around 6 p.m. when her breathing stopped, but doctors were unable to revive her.

"We believe that God took her," Danny Lee said. "We don't blame anyone."

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