Mother fights hospital’s attempt to withdraw child’s life support before further treatment

The mother of a child on a hospital ventilator is fighting against doctors who say her daughter should be taken off life support.

While medics claim Tinslee Lewis shows no movement, mum Trinity has shared a video showing her eyes open and arms waving in the air.

Born prematurely last February, Tinslee has spent her whole life in the intensive care unit at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas – one of the few US states where doctors can end a patient’s life without the family’s permission.

Treatable

For the past year the medical centre has been seeking court approval to remove Tinslee’s life support.

Two professors of medicine, Dr Glenn E Green and Dr Patrick T Roughneen, have reviewed Tinslee’s case and disagree with the centre’s decision, believing her condition may be treatable.

In July, in a statement submitted to a local county court, Dr Roughneen wrote: “Tracheotomies are routinely performed for patients after 14-days on a ventilator. Baby T.L. has been on a ventilator for over 10 months.”

He continued: “It is not within the standard realm of care to leave a patient on a ventilator this long and refuse a tracheostomy”, adding: “there are very specific patient benefits to performing this procedure.”

‘Fighter’

Refusing to give up hope, Trinity recently posted footage of Tinslee awake and moving and asked: “Why do they want to kill my baby so badly?”

She added: “They are telling the judges that Tinslee cannot move or interact, which is not true. Just watch the video.”

The little girl has battled against a rare heart disease, survived multiple heart operations and contended with a chronic lung condition. Trinity describes her daughter as a “fighter” and “a happy baby”.

10-Day Rule

According to Texas law, hospitals may withdraw “life-sustaining” treatment if an alternative provider cannot be found to offer the same treatment within a ten-day period.

Texas Right to Life, which is supporting Tinslee’s family, said: “Under the 10-Day Rule, you have more rights on death row than in a Texas hospital.”

Trinity has successfully appealed against the hospital’s decision to withdraw care and is now awaiting the outcome of a hearing challenging the 10-Day Rule as unconstitutional.

Also see:

baby

‘In a civilised society every life has value’, says bioethicist

Joy for parents as 23 week baby home from hospital

Baby born with head the size of a melon defies doctors’ odds