February 6, 2020

Baby Tinslee Lewis Case Heard in Second Court of Appeals

Tinslee Lewis
The Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth, Texas heard arguments on Feb 4 regarding Tinslee Lewis and the Texas 10-Day Rule.

The Texas rule allows medical facilities to have a medical board to make the decision about whether a person's life is worth trying to save. Even without the agreement of the patient or their loved ones, doctors can choose to withhold treatment after 10 days once they gain permission from this independent board.

Cook Children's Medical Center wanted to pull the plug on Tinslee Lewis's breathing assistance months ago, using the 10-Day Rule as justification. Tinslee's parents appealed this decision, but a judge ruled against them in January. Since then, her legal battle gained widespread media attention and the support of Texas's executive branch. Cook Children's Medical Center received a temporary injunction against its use of the 10-Day Rule on Tinslee, and the Texas Office of Attorney General has come to her aid as well.

Trinity Lewis, Tinslee's mother, gave a statement during the Feb. 4 hearing about her daughter's condition and parents' need to be involved in their children's healthcare:
"Tinslee has not had 'dying spells' or blue spells requiring resuscitation for many months. The last time she had anything like that was right around her last surgery in August. She has not had any 'dying spells' or blue spells since then. A lot of the nurses that care for her tell me that they enjoy caring for her. They pray for Tinslee before their shift is over, they decorate her room, and help me take good care of her. Tinslee enjoys her bubble gum oral care, and she lets us know when she needs a diaper change–but she is not having dying spells, and I do not believe that she is suffering.
Tinslee is a fighter, and as long as she keeps responding to us and showing she is fighting, as her mom I will keep fighting for her.
I hope and pray these new judges will give Tinslee a fair chance. Every parent should have a voice and decision in their child’s care."
The hospital attempted to argue that if Tinslee's breathing assistance was taken away, the hospital would not be at fault for her death. It would instead be the fault of Tinslee's illness. The Office of Attorney General gave the counterargument that treating Tinslee's death in this way would be the same as saying a plane crash was the fault of gravity rather than the pilot or the plane's construction.

Since the temporary injunction against Cook Children's Medical Center, Tinslee has lived past her first birthday.

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