Judge Extends TRO to Keep Baby Tinslee Lewis Alive, Will Rule Injunction on or before Jan 2nd, 2020

Provided: Texas Right to Life


UPDATE 12/12 8:00PM:  Judge Justice Sandee Marion has extended a temporary restraining order to keep Baby Tinslee Lewis alive until January 2nd, 2020. Marion said she will rule on the filed injunction on or before that date. Tinslee has congenital heart disease, chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension, making it extremely difficult for her to breathe. Cook Children’s says without life support, her condition is fatal. Tinslee’s mother Trinity Lewis is pleased with the extension and said she disagrees with doctor’s claims that she’s suffering. “I know she’s not suffering…I wouldn’t be here fighting for her life if I thought that,” said Lewis. The Family’s Attorney Joe Nixon said he is ready to keep fighting for Tinslee’s right to life and called the Texas 10 day rule unconstitutional. “Tinslee is alive and we are going to keep her alive and do everything we can to help her and give her the life her mother wants her to have,” said Nixon. Cook Children’s released a statement following the decision, “Cook Children’s has been dedicated to providing
the very best care for Tinslee since her arrival to our hospital 10 months ago. For the entirety of her life, our staff has diligently provided compassionate, round-the-clock, intensive care and attention. We will continue to provide this precious baby the same level of care as we have for her entire life. We all share the same sense of concern for Tinslee and her family as they face a very difficult situation. Our doctors and nurses have done everything humanely possible to save Tinslee’s life. Currently, any care we provide, including feeding, bathing and providing treatments and medication, can cause her little body to experience a medical crisis, which causes even more intervention and pain for her. We have reached out to more than 20, well-respected healthcare facilities and pediatric cardiac specialists who have the specialized training to continue Tinslee’s care, and upon their review, each medical team declined to accept her as a patient. Sadly, she shows no signs of improvement and there are no treatment options available to help her get better. We would ask that outside groups, even those who disagree with Cook Children’s approach, consider what is best for Tinslee now and give the family space to consider what truly is best for this baby, and allow our medical professionals space to care for her.” 


ORIGINAL STORY: Cook Children’s Medical Center agreed to extend a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that keeps a 10-month-old baby alive until after a hearing on Thursday, December 12th. The TRO that keeps Cook’s Children from ending life support was set to expire Tuesday.

This hearing will determine whether Baby Tinslee can have more time through a temporary injunction pending a full trial, or if the hospital can end treatment.

Tinslee has congenital heart disease, chronic lung disease and pulmonary hypertension, making it extremely difficult for her to breathe. “Despite our best efforts, her condition is irreversible, meaning it will never be cured or eliminated. Without life-sustaining treatment, her condition is fatal,” said Cook’s Children in a statement.

The Texas 10-Day Rule allows a hospital committee to end life support against her family’s wishes.

Tinslee has been in the hospital since birth and Cook  Children’s believes she’s suffering.

The presiding judge will be Justice Sandee Marion, Chief Justice of the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio. The first judge was recused after the hospital questioned his impartiality. Cook Children’s claims Tarrant County District Judge Alex Kim, who signed the first TRO, associates with groups that publicly campaigned against the hospital in Tinslee’s case.

“I think that any fair and reasonable judge can see the injustices of Tinslee’s case and the entire 10 day rule. We are hopeful that the court will recognize Baby Tinslee’s right to due process and her Right to Life,” said Kim Schwartz with Texas Right to Life, representing the family.

Originally, Tinslee received a temporary restraining order on November 10. 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.

“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,” said Trinity Lewis, Tinslee’s mother.

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,” said Schwartz.

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