Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth asked the Supreme Court of Texas on August 20 for permission to remove Baby Tinslee Lewis’s ventilator against her mother’s will. The Second Court of Appeals issued a comprehensive ruling in July that argued the 10-Day Rule is likely unconstitutional, and Tinslee’s mother, Trinity, will likely prevail on her claims against Cook Children’s Medical Center. Despite this, the hospital continues to seek court permission to remove Tinslee’s treatment over her mother’s objection. Cook Children’s admits Tinslee will die if the judges side with the hospital.
“Why do they want to kill my baby so badly?” Trinity responded. “They are telling the judges that Tinslee cannot move or interact, which is not true. Just watch the video. This is a recent video of Tinslee,” she added.
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In December 2019, Cook Children’s argued in court, “She’s got less than five months to live.” Tinslee has now lived eight months (going on nine) after these dire assertions, celebrated her first birthday in February, and continues to grow.
Tinslee’s family is formally challenging the deadly Texas 10-Day Rule that the hospital is attempting to use to end Tinslee’s life. People from all over the world were shocked to find out about this uniquely evil state law that allows hospital committees to override a parent’s life or death health care decisions and remove wanted life-sustaining treatment.
For Tinslee to be a candidate for a different type of health care facility, she would require a tracheostomy. Commonly referred to as a trach, a tracheostomy is a routine procedure that is typically performed if someone will need mechanical ventilation support – i.e. breathing assistance – for longer than two weeks. Tinslee has been on a ventilator since August 2019. Court records reveal that nearly a year later, Cook Children’s continues to refuse to provide Tinslee a trach, indicating they will only acquiesce to her mother’s request if Tinslee is discharged to hospice and her mother agrees to a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order.
In other words, the hospital will perform the procedure only if they can guarantee Tinslee will die, not if she is afforded care elsewhere.
In addition to Tinslee, Texas Right to Life has helped seven other patients facing the deadly 10-Day Rule in 2020 so far. You can help provide legal counsel and patient advocacy to families by giving a financial gift to our Family Assistance Fund.