A judge is giving a Fort Worth hospital the green light to remove an 11-month-old girl from life support despite her family's protest.
The Thursday morning ruling by the 48th judicial district court says Cook Children's Medical Center will give the family of Tinslee Lewis up to seven days to make a decision on whether to appeal.
Lewis has not left the hospital since her premature birth and has been on a ventilator since she went into respiratory arrest in July, according to hospital staff.
U.S. & World
The child suffers from a rare heart defect and has undergone three open-heart surgeries. She also has chronic lung disease and severe chronic high blood pressure, and the hospital has argued that doctors believe she is suffering.
“Our doctors and nurses have done everything humanly possible to save Tinslee’s life,” the hospital noted in a statement. “Sadly, she shows no signs of improvement and there are no treatment options available to help her get better.”
The Cook Children’s staff had planned to remove Tinslee from life support in early November, after invoking Texas' "10-day rule," which can be employed when a family disagrees with doctors who say life-sustaining treatment should be stopped. The law stipulates if the hospital's ethics committee agrees with doctors, treatment can be withdrawn after 10 days if a new provider cannot be found to take the patient.
The child’s family requested a temporary injunction to keep Tinslee alive until another hospital that would agree to care for the little girl could be identified.
Last month, Trinity Lewis, Tinslee’s mother, said she believes her daughter will continue to fight.
"This isn't Tinslee's first rodeo. She's made it this far. I know she's going to continue to fight for her life," Lewis said.
During the previous hearing, Judge Sandee Bryan Marion extended the temporary restraining order until Jan. 2, 2020.