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Baby Tinslee Lewis receives more time in 10-day dispute through extended temporary restraining order

November 20, 2019 GMT

FORT WORTH, Nov. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Baby Tinslee Lewis, the 9-month-old at the center of a 10-day dispute with Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, will be protected until December 10, 2019. The family’s lawyers, provided by Texas Right to Life, and Cook Children’s agreed to extend the temporary restraining order. During this time, our patient advocacy team will continue seeking a new facility to care for Tinslee.

The original court hearing that was scheduled this Friday, November 22, will no longer occur. A new hearing is not yet set but will take place sometime between December 4-10. During this hearing, a judge will decide whether to grant a temporary injunction, which will extend Tinslee’s safety beyond December 10, or to allow Cook Children’s to pull the plug on Baby Tinslee afterward.

We praise God for this extension of time, which grants Tinslee more than a month of life after the hospital was initially set to pull the plug on the baby on November 10.

We call on Governor Greg Abbott to convene a special session to end this deadly 10-Day Rule.

Background: Baby Tinslee is a 9-month-old girl with congenital heart disease and is breathing with the assistance of a ventilator. She is sedated but conscious. Cook Children’s Fort Worth Hospital informed Tinslee’s mother, Trinity, on October 31 that they would pull the plug on her daughter against her directive in 10 days, scheduling her to die November 10, under the Texas 10-Day Rule. Luckily, a judge granted a temporary restraining order on November 10 to allow Tinslee more time. The hospital committee cited no physical health reason for their decision to seize Tinslee’s ventilator against her mother’s will but instead cited their own “quality of life” judgments.

The 10-Day Rule is a provision in the Texas Advance Directives Act (Chapter 166.046 of the Texas Health & Safety Code) that allows a hospital ethics committee to withdraw basic life-sustaining care, like a ventilator or dialysis, from a patient against his expressed will, his advance directive, or the instruction of his surrogate decision-maker. Ten days after informing the patient or surrogate of the committee’s decision, the hospital can remove basic life-sustaining care from a patient.

Committees can withdraw care for any reason and the patient cannot appeal the decision. Even if the patient is conscious, coherent, and actively requests to stay alive, the 10-Day-Rule allows the hospital to overrule the patient’s will.

Kimberlyn Schwartz Texas Right to Life 7137825433 kschwartz@texasrighttolife.com