Court hearing set for December 12 in Baby Tinslee Lewis case


FORT WORTH – A court hearing is scheduled in the Baby Tinslee Lewis case in Fort Worth for December 12, 2019.  This hearing will determine whether Baby Tinslee can have more time through a temporary injunction pending a full trial, or if the hospital can pull the plug on Tinslee.

Baby Tinslee is a 10-month-old at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth who has congenital heart disease.  Her condition is not fatal, but the Texas 10-Day Rule (a provision of the Texas Advance Directives Act) allows a hospital committee to pull the plug on the child against her mother’s will for any reason.

The presiding judge will be Justice Sandee Marion, Chief Justice of the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio.

Originally, Tinslee received a temporary restraining order on November 10 that prevented Cook Children’s from euthanizing her.  The hospital and the family then mutually agreed to extend the order to December 10.  Thursday’s hearing will consider whether to upgrade the order to a temporary injunction, which would last longer than a temporary restraining order, with the duration being decided by a judge.  Cook Children’s agreed to extend the temporary restraining order until after Thursday’s hearing given that the current order expires December 10.

Trinity Lewis, Tinslee’s mother, said, “I’m grateful that I’ve had an extra month with my baby because a judge protected her from this 10-Day Rule.  Tinslee is a fighter, and I know she’s not done yet. I hope the judge won’t let the hospital kill my baby.” 

Texas Right to Life is hopeful that the court will recognize Baby Tinslee’s right to due process and her Right to Life — both of which would be robbed by the deadly 10-Day Rule.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an amicus brief in defense of Tinslee and asserted that the 10-Day Rule is unconstitutional.

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.  Texans who want to protect patients like Tinslee should contact their state legislators at (512) 463-4630.

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