Texas Judge Says Hospital Can Remove 11-Month-Old From Life Support
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Texas Judge Says Hospital Can Remove 11-Month-Old From Life Support

Texas Judge Says Hospital Can Remove 11-Month-Old From Life Support

By Melissa Darling

Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local | See LinkedIn


A Texas judge has made a decision regarding an 11-month-old’s life. The 11-month-old, Tinslee Lewis, was born with a rare heart defect and has been on life support at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Despite her families wishes, the Texas judge decided that the children’s hospital can remove the 11-month-old off life support. The Lewis family had been fighting to continue treatment for several months after the facility planned to end care.

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Judge Sandee Bryan Marion, the chief justice of Texas’ Fourth Court of Appeals, sided with the children’s hospital. Tinslee’s rare heart defect is known as Ebstein’s anomaly, and she suffers from chronic lung disease and severe chronic pulmonary hypertension. Tinslee’s mother disagreed with the decision by doctors, who say the infant is in pain and that her condition will never improve. Trinity Lewis, her mother, asked Judge Marion to issue an injunction to ensure that the Cook Children’s Medical Center doesn’t end her daughter Tinslee Lewis’ life-sustaining treatment. However, Judge Marion denied the temporary injunction filed by Tinslee’s family in their efforts to keep Tinslee on life support for only several weeks. The family does still have seven days to decide if they want to appeal the judges ruling before the hospital can take any action according to Kim Brown, a hospital spokeswoman, who told CNN this.

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Hospital officials have said they reached out to more than 20 facilities to see if one would take Tinslee, but all agreed that further care is futile. Tinslee has been at the Cook Children’s Hospital since she was born prematurely, and hasn’t been off a ventilator since she went into respiratory arrest in early July. Since then, Tinslee has required full respiratory and cardiac support, deep sedation and to be medically paralyzed. Because of all of this, the hospital said doctors believe that she’s suffering. However, her mother believes that she knows Tinslee’s likes and dislikes. She said during a hearing last month “I want to be the one to make the decision for her,” regarding the removal of her daughter from life support. Dr. Jay Duncan, one of Tinslee’s physicians, described the girl’s conditions. Despite the team of doctors, countless surgeries, and hope that one day she might be able to go home, Duncan said there came a point when they had run out of all options, and that treatment was no longer benefiting Tinslee. It is estimated that, unfortunately, Tinslee will likely pass away within half a year.

Tinslee’s mother issued a statement through Texas Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, in response to the judge’s ruling. “I am heartbroken over today’s decision because the judge basically said Tinslee’s life is NOT worth living. 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. Please keep praying for Tinslee and thank you for supporting us during this difficult time.”

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