The Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth will hear oral arguments on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, in the Baby Tinslee Lewis case. A three-judge panel will hear the appeal, including Justice Lee Gabriel, Justice Wade Birdwell, and Justice Mike Wallach.
Baby Tinslee turned one year old on Saturday, February 1.
She receives treatment for her congenital heart disease at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, but the Texas 10-Day Rule (a provision of the Texas Advance Directives Act) allows a hospital committee to pull the plug on the child against her mother’s will. The hospital originally planned to take away Baby Tinslee’s life-sustaining treatment on November 10, 2019, but the family won a temporary restraining order.
On January 2, 2020, a San Antonio judge ruled against Tinslee, stating that the hospital could pull the plug. But the next day the Second Court of Appeals granted a motion to protect the child until the family’s appeal is decided. The Second Court of Appeals will be the same court to hear oral arguments Tuesday.
The appeals court will consider whether Baby Tinslee can have a temporary injunction, which would prevent Cook Children’s Medical Center from pulling the plug on Tinslee before a full trial could be held. The three-judge panel could also temporarily enjoin the entire statute that has attacked Tinslee and countless other patients.
If Tinslee’s injunction is denied, the hospital will be able to legally remove her ventilator, killing her against her family’s wishes.
In a press conference, Tinslee’s mother, Trinity Lewis, stated, “I’m not going to say my biggest fear is losing her because I know that everybody has to pass away, but my fear is them pulling the plug on her… without me being able to make that decision for her.”
Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have joined Texas Right to Life’s fight to protect Baby Tinslee and eliminate the countdown placed on patients’ lives, with the state leaders filing an amicus brief for the appeals court.
Texas Right to Life and Protect TX Fragile Kids have worked around the clock since November to save Baby Tinslee. We pray the appellate court will identify how the law violates Baby Tinslee’s due process rights, revoke her death sentence, and help strike down the deadly 10-Day Rule.