A Texas mother is in a dire legal battle to save the life of her daughter from a hospital that wants to pull the plug on her life support.
The mother, Trinity Lewis, says her daughter Tinslee, who was born premature, “is awake” and should be given a right to life. The Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, argues that the baby was born with congenital heart disease and is “artificially kept alive.” The hospital is also arguing in court papers that the baby is in physical pain and “should be allowed to pass naturally and peacefully,” ABC News reports.
“Even with the most extraordinary measures the medical team is taking, Tinslee continues to suffer,” hospital officials said according to the report. “To keep her alive, doctors and nurses must keep her on a constant stream of painkillers, sedatives, and paralytics. As a result, Tinslee is paralyzed at all times.”
Tinslee will not be able to survive without continued machine assistance.
“Tinslee, she’s doing good,” Lewis said at a news conference on Monday, per ABC News. “She’s been awake. They started medicine for her lungs … so her lungs have been more clear for her to breathe. So she’s been breathing over the ventilator. She’s at 30% on her ventilator.”
ABC News adds:
Chief Justice Sandee B. Marion of the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals rejected a request for a temporary injunction Lewis and her attorneys filed in a desperate attempt to keep the baby on life support last Thursday.
The Texas Second Court of Appeals granted Lewis and her lawyers an emergency motion on Friday that prevented the hospital from removing Tinslee from life support until a legal appeal is considered.
Following Marion’s ruling, the hospital had given Lewis seven days to find another medical center that would continue treating Tinslee. The emergency motion that was granted to the family stops that clock and requires the hospital to “maintain life-sustaining care” while Marion’s decision is being appealed.
The family of 11-month-old Tinslee Lewis is speaking after being granted emergency relief preventing Cooks Children Hospital from removing her from life support.
Posted by WFAA on Monday, January 6, 2020
There has not yet been a court date set for the appeal.
Joe Nixon, Lewis’ attorney, said: “We’re all in danger here if this law stays in place because we’ve taken away the decision of life that belongs either to the patient or the patients’ family and given it to a nameless, faceless committee.”
“We don’t want that,” the attorney continued. “We are all in danger when that happens. Thankfully, the United States Constitution … and the Texas constitution says that we are guaranteed the right to life with due process. The statute doesn’t have due process.”