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Sick Baby's Mom 'Heartbroken' Over Judge's Ruling

Texas judge decides hospital can take Tinslee Lewis off life support; there will be an appeal
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2020 8:27 AM CST
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This Nov. 8, 2019, photo shows Tinslee Lewis.   (Courtesy of Texas Right to Life via AP)

(Newser) – It's not the answer Tinslee Lewis' family wanted to hear. A Texas judge ruled Thursday that Cook Children's Medical Center can take the seriously ill 11-month-old off life support, despite the objections of her family amid a protracted legal battle, the New York Times reports. Chief Justice Sandee Bryan Marion of the state's 4th Court of Appeals had granted a temporary injunction in December, allowing for Tinslee to be kept on life support until Jan. 2. On Thursday, Marion declined to extend the injunction. Doctors at the hospital say there's nothing more they can do for Tinslee—who was born prematurely and suffers from a variety of significant health issues, including a rare heart defect—and that keeping her on life support is just prolonging a life of pain.

"She is suffering," the hospital says in a statement. "It's time to end this cycle because, tragically, none of these efforts will ever make her better." Conservative and religious groups such as Texas Right to Life have rallied on the side of Tinslee's family, taking issue with the state's 10-day rule, which gives a hospital the right to stop life-sustaining treatment after 10 days if there's a disagreement with a patient's family. The hospital says it will keep Tinslee on life support for seven more days to give her family time to appeal the decision, which mom Trinity Lewis plans to do. CNN reports that Lewis issued her own statement via Texas Right to Life after the ruling, saying she's "heartbroken" over the decision: "The judge basically said Tinslee's life is NOT worth living. ... She deserves the right to live." (Read more life support stories.)

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