Image Source: Texas Right to Life YouTube screenshot
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9-month-old baby suffers from Ebstein anomaly, a rare heart defect
A Texas family won a last-minute court ruling Sunday that prevented a hospital from taking their 9-month-old baby off of life support.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "Trinity Lewis said all she wants is for her 9-month-old daughter, who is on life support, to have a chance to get better."
But on Sunday, physicians at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth had planned to stop all treatment for Tinslee Lewis.
The hospital had evoked the 10-Day Rule, which allows them to stop life-sustaining treatment for patients if physicians determine treatment is futile — even if the family wants treatment to continue.
Tinslee's family was bracing for the moment when at 3 p.m. Sunday they were informed that doctors would not take her off the ventilator.
Tarrant County District Judge Alex Kim had granted Tinslee's family a temporary restraining order against the hospital, prohibiting physicians from ending Tinslee's treatment through Nov. 23, the Star-Telegram reported.
The family now has until Nov. 22 to move Tinslee to another facility that will give her treatment.
Save Tinslee Lewis! Call Cook Children's administrator Stan Davisyoutu.be
The hospital says there is nothing they can do
Born prematurely, Tinslee suffers from Ebstein anomaly, a rare heart defect causing her heart to press against her lungs and thus requiring the assistance of a ventilator to breathe.
Officials at Cook Children's said they believe Tinslee is in pain and that nothing more can be done for her medically, the report states.
"While we believe every child's life is sacred, we also believe that no child should be sentenced to a life of pain," said Cook Children's Health Care spokesperson Winifred King in a statement. "Removing this beautiful child from mechanical ventilation is a gut-wrenching decision for Cook Children's physicians and staff; however, we feel it is in her best interest to free her from artificial, medical intervention and suffering."
Family, Texas Right to Life do not agree
"We are just asking for the opportunity to give Tinslee a fighting chance," said Tye Brown, Trinity Lewis' cousin. "And we're not being given that."
"She's a fighter," Tinslee's mother said of Tinslee. "She's been through so much."
The family was provided a lawyer by Texas Right to Life, and the pro-life organization has been helping the family fight the hospital's decision.
The Texan reports that, "hours before baby Tinslee was scheduled to be taken off life support, Kimberlyn Schwartz, a representative of Texas Right to Life working closely with the Lewis family, and described the family and organization as "racing against the clock … praying these are not Tinslee's last moments."
In a news conference Sunday, Texas Right to Life board director, Rich DeOtte, called the 10-Day Rule "one of the worst laws in the country."
"Under the 10-Day Rule, criminals on death row have more rights than patients in Texas hospitals," he argued, adding that hospitals do not "have the moral authority to make these decisions for their patients."
State Reps. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) also spoke at the news conference, and characterized the 10-Day Rule as not fitting "with Texas values."
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