The Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Sandee Marion has ruled against a family trying to save their daughter’s life.
Marion rejected the Texas family’s bid for an additional injunction against Cook Children’s Medical Center’s attempt to remove their baby girl’s life support.
11-month-old Tinslee Lewis was born prematurely and has spent the entire duration of her life in the Fort Worth hospital. In her brief lifespan, Tinslee has undergone intensive surgeries for lung disease, heart defects, and chronic pulmonary hypertension. In October, medical professionals at Cook Children’s Medical Center deemed the infant was beyond saving, and thus decided to withdraw her life support.
The gut-wrenching ruling only gives the family one week to appeal, which they plan to pursue with the help of Texas Right to Life. The organization already came to their aid by obtaining a restraining order against the move, but Marion has refused to extend it.
“Our doctors and nurses have done everything humanly possible to save Tinslee’s life,” said CCMC in a statement. “Sadly, she shows no signs of improvement and there are no treatment options available to help her get better.”
The death sentence handed to their 11-month-old has left Tinslee’s parents heartbroken and distraught.
“I am heartbroken over today’s decision because the judge basically said Tinslee’s life is NOT worth living,” said Tinslee’s mother, Trinity Lewis. “I feel frustrated because anyone in that courtroom would want more time just like I do if Tinslee were their baby. I hope that we can keep fighting through an appeal to protect Tinslee. She deserves the right to live. Please keep praying for Tinslee and thank you for supporting us during this difficult time.”
The case is reminiscent of the 2017 Charlie Gard case. After months of emotional legal battles with London’s High Court, the Court of Appeals, Supreme Court in London and the European Court of Human Rights, the fight for terminally-ill British baby Charlie Gard came to an end, resulting in the removal of Charlie’s life support and untimely death.
Tinslee Lewis’ case has grasped the attention of the Texas Attorney General, who has filed a brief in an attempt to save her life. Meanwhile, Texas Right to Life is doing all they can to lobby for the family, including involving Republican Governor Greg Abbott. The organization has petitioned Abbott to repeal a provision of the Texas Directives Act passed in 1999. That provision claims that if a doctor refuses to treat a patient and gets approval from a committee—and no other physician agrees to take the patient on—the hospital is only required to give 10 days of life-sustaining care.
“Texas Right to Life is disappointed that the ruling not only disregarded the Constitution, but also sentenced an innocent 11-month-old baby to death like a criminal,” a spokesperson for the organization said. “The 10-Day Rule has robbed countless patients of their Right to Life and right to due process. We pray the appellate court will identify how the law violates Baby Tinslee’s due process rights, revoke her death sentence, and strike down the deadly 10-Day Rule.”