Baby Tinslee’s family endures in ongoing legal battle for 10-month-old’s Right to Life

On Thursday, December 12, a judge extended temporary protection for 10-month-old Tinslee Lewis from the deadly 10-Day Rule.  Justice Sandee Marion, Chief Justice of the 4th Court of Appeals, has not yet decided whether to issue a temporary injunction preventing Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth from pulling the plug on Baby Tinslee.  She stated she would rule on or before January 2, 2020. Baby Tinslee will be safe at least until then. 

Your generous support of the Texas Right to Life Family Assistance Fund provided Tinslee the very best Pro-Life attorneys: Joe Nixon, Emily Cook, and Kassi Marks.  They represented Tinslee in the hearing, and built a case to persuade the judge to protect Baby Tinslee from the 10-Day Rule.  This horrible law threatens her right to due process and her Right to Life.

The first witness was Trinity Lewis, Tinslee’s mother, who has been a rock in fighting for her precious baby’s life.  She told the court how sassy her little girl is, how much she loves having her nails painted but hates having her hair brushed, and loves the cartoon movie Trolls — all proofs that Tinslee is a living, breathing person with a Right to Life that should not be taken away by this 10-Day Rule.

“I want to be able to make that decision for her,” Trinity said.  “She’s made it this far. I know she’s going to continue to fight for her life.”

The next witness was Dr Pam Foster, chair of the “ethics committee” which decided to enact the 10-Day Rule against Tinslee.  She admitted under oath that all but three of the committee members who decided to take Tinslee’s life are on the hospital payroll, and that Tinslee and her family did not have a guaranteed right to an attorney at the meeting — hardly a fair trial like the Constitution requires!

Next, Dr Jay Duncan, who first requested to pull the plug on Tinslee under the 10-Day Rule, took the stand, and did everything possible to avoid admitting that “ending her suffering” meant ending her life. 

Attorney Joe Nixon asked “The only way she’s going to stop being in pain is if she dies, correct?”

“Yes,” Duncan finally admitted.

Nixon then asked “In your mind, in this situation, who gets to decide whether Tinslee lives or dies?”

Duncan responded “In this situation, the ethics committee of the hospital gets to decide.”

Only God has power over life and death.  When the Texas 10-Day Rule allows hospitals to make decisions that strip away patients’ rights to Life and due process against their family’s wishes, a grave injustice is committed.

The next witness was Hannah Metah, executive director of Protect TX Fragile Kids.  She and her team of wonderful volunteers have worked day and night contacting their network of “super specialist” doctors to find Tinslee a hospital where she will be cared for and kept safe from the deadly 10-Day Rule.  When Nixon asked why she was working around the clock to help save Tinslee, Metah replied “I’m doing everything that I would hope someone else would do if this were my child.”

Two other mothers of medically complex children just like Tinslee also testified.  They told the judge how the doctors thought there was “no hope,” but their children now lead happy and full lives because they never gave up on their babies.

After hours of testimony, attorneys gave their closing arguments, with Nixon succinctly explaining that the Constitution guarantees every person a right to due process and a Right to Life that cannot be taken away by hospital committees or the wicked 10-Day Rule.  An attorney for the Office of the Attorney General also spoke, defending Baby Tinslee and giving the state’s highest attorney’s opinion that the 10-Day Rule is unconstitutional.

“I’m so grateful that my baby won more time today,” Trinity Lewis said.  “A month ago, I thought I was going to lose my baby to this 10-Day Rule. But now we have more time to find a new hospital that will care for her and we want to stop this from happening to any other parent ever again.”

Although Thursday’s hearing was a brief victory, the fight to save Baby Tinslee is not over yet.  The ultimate question of whether a hospital can violate someone’s constitutional right to due process and Right to Life remains unanswered by this judge.  Please pray for a favorable ruling on January 2.  

You can help by donating to the Family Assistance Fund, which provides Baby Tinslee the Pro-Life attorneys she needs to save her life.

Furthermore, unless Governor Greg Abbott calls a special session to repeal the 10-Day Rule, Tinslee Lewis will not be the last patient victimized by this law.  If you want to protect patients like Tinslee, please contact your state legislators at (512) 463-4630 and urge them to act now!