Governor Greg Abbott Fights For Baby's Life
Doctors Try To Take Baby Tinslee Lewis Off Life Support
Baby Tinslee Lewis has been in the hospital with lung and heart problems since her birth, according to KVUE, Fort Worth ABC television station. While doctors at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth want to take her off life support, Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a "friend of the court" brief in an effort to keep baby Tinslee Lewis alive.
Tinslee's Family Want Her On Life Support
Tinslee's family wants her treatment continued. The 11-month old is at the Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. On the other hand, doctors disagree. They have diagnosed her condition as terminal.
Courts Fight Over Baby's Right To Survive
A judge denied an injunction that gave the baby seven days to live. The baby's mother said she wants to be the person who makes the decision for her child.
"I am heartbroken over today's decision because the judge basically said Tinslee's life is not worth living," Trinity said in a written statement issued by Texas Right To Life.
Baby Kept Alive During Appeal
A court of appeals later granted emergency relief for baby Tinslee. This will kkeep her on life support throughout the appeal.
Abbott and Paxton are asking for the reveresal of a recent trial court's ruling that doctors can remove baby Tinslee from life support if they obtain approval from the hospital's board.
Mother Fights Doctors
Trinity Lewis is the mother of the 11-month old baby. She has also filed an appeal to continue medical suppport for the baby. The hospital's doctors had planned to removed baby Tinsley from life support in November based on the Texas Advanced Directives Act.
Texas Advanced Directives Act
The Texas Advanced Directives Act says when a family disagrees with doctors who say life sustaining treatment should be stopped, that the hospital may decide. That is a statute which has been severely criticized.
Attorney Joe Nixon Represents Baby's Family
Joe Nixon, Lewis family lawyer, filed an appeal Thursday in Fort Worth's Second Court of Appeals. Nixon said, "I've always maintained that the culprit in this case is the statute. The hospital is providing life sustaining care, the problem in this case is that there is a statute, which allows a hospital instead of a mother, to make a decision on when life sustaining care will be terminated."
Attorney General Emphasizes Life
Paxton said, "Life is the first and ultimate constitutionally protected interest, and this case is certainly a matter of life and death. This baby girl, like all Texans, has the rights to life an due process. Patients must be heard and justly represented when determining their own medical treatment, especially when a life is in danger."
Mother Speaks Out
The baby's mother told CBS News of Austin, "This situation takes away my job as mother and lets other people who don't even know her decide whether her life is worth living." She further said she doesn't believe her baby is suffering.
She also revoked the medical center's permission to talk about her child's treatment.
Doctor Says He's Done All He Can
Dr. Jay Duncan, who cares for Tinslee at Cok Children's, testified last month that doctors have done as much as they can, according to KVUE TV.
"There are no more treatments wee can do to Tinsleee for improvement. She's in pain," he testified.
The constitutionality of the law involved here could make this a landmark case for the Lone Star State. Abbott and Paxton released a joint statement as follows:
"The case of Tinslee Lewis is complex and heartbreaking, and the state will continue to support Ms. Lewis's exhaustion of all legal options to ensure that Tinslee is given every chance at Life. The Attorney General's Office is involved in the ongoing litigation, fighting to see that due process and the right to life are fully respected by Texdasa laaw. The Attorney General's officdde will be supporting an appeal of this case to the Second Court of Appeals. The State of Texas is fully prepared to continue its support of Ms. Lewis in the Supreme Court if necessary. We arer working diligently to do all we can to ensure that Tinseleee and her family are provided the care and support that they seek."