Court grants Baby Tinslee Lewis more time in 10-day dispute, Texas Right to Life & state legislators call press conference

Texas Right to Life and local state legislators will convene a press conference outside Cook Children’s Fort Worth with an update regarding baby Tinslee Lewis. Cook Children’s Fort Worth was set to pull the plug on the 9-month-old against her mother’s will today, but Texas Right to Life sought a temporary restraining order to grant more time to the family. The family, Texas Right to Life, and state representatives will speak on the case.

What: Press conference regarding Tinslee Lewis

When: November 10, 2019; 5:15 p.m.

Where: Corner of Cooper St. and 7th Ave.; in front of Cook Children’s

Speakers include:

  • Tye Brown, cousin to Baby Tinslee
  • Rich DeOtte, Texas Right to Life
  • Tony Tinderholt, Texas House of Representatives District 92
  • Hannah Mehta, Protect TX Fragile Kids

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. 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.