Texas Judge Tells Fort Worth Hospital It Can Remove Baby From Life Support

Jan 2, 2020

A judge ruled in favor of allowing a Fort Worth hospital to remove an infant from life support on Thursday, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The move is at odds with the wishes of the 11-month-old baby's family, which has spent recent months fighting Cook Children's Medical Center over ending care for Tinslee Lewis.

The Lewis family intends to appeal the decision, according to the Star-Telegram.

The issue has roiled both the Fort Worth community as well as statewide conservative groups and elected officials.

Tinslee was born prematurely at Cook Children's Medical Center where she has spent her entire life. Since birth, Tinslee has been plagued with medical problems and undergone three open-heart surgeries. She's been treated for a severe heart defect, lung disease and high blood pressure. She was put on life support in July. The hospital began talks in September with the Lewis family about transferring Tinslee to another hospital or ending care. Hospital staff has previously argued that the baby is in pain and "further medical intervention is not in Tinslee's best interest."

Texas' Fourth District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Sandee B. Marion issued the ruling Thursday to deny the request for an injunction filed by the family, which would have prevented the hospital from removing Tinslee from life support.

Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, issued a statement on behalf of Lewis' mother, Trinity Lewis.

“I am heartbroken over today’s decision because the judge basically said Tinslee’s life is NOT worth living," she said in the statement. "I feel frustrated because anyone in that courtroom would want more time just like I do if Tinslee were their baby. I hope that we can keep fighting through an appeal to protect Tinslee. She deserves the right to live."

In November, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton entered the fray, siding with the Lewis family.

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From The Texas Tribune