October 20, 2020 (Texas Right to Life) — The Supreme Court of Texas (SCOTX) delivered more time to Baby Tinslee Lewis, an ill 20-month-old in a Fort Worth hospital. Through a long legal battle, Cook Children’s Medical Center has sought to impose death on this baby since last November. Thus far, the courts have ruled in favor of Trinity, Tinslee’s mother, who is fighting for the life of her precious daughter.
Cook Children’s asked SCOTX for permission to withdraw the toddler’s life-sustaining treatment while the 10-Day Rule is argued in court. SCOTX declined the petition, and Tinslee will continue to receive treatment. Judges matter…they matter to Trinity and to Baby Tinslee, and judges indeed impact the daily lives of people.
A single judge in Texas could have put a death sentence on Tinslee — without due process.
Under the 10-Day Rule of the Texas Advance Directives Act (Section 166.046 of the Health and Safety Code), patients rendered futile face death by hospital committee—no trial, no second opinion, no due process. The death of the patient is hastened because the committee feels that his or her quality of life is too low.
Baby Tinslee is almost two years old and struggles with a congenital heart condition. In November 2019, Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth moved to withdraw her treatment, including a ventilator, without which the young child would die. Baby Tinslee’s mother would not acquiesce to the hospital, so Cook invoked the statutory 10-day process to euthanize the child.
The first judge protected Baby Tinslee, but Cook has not relented, even though she is conscious and interactive when not sedated. Those moving to “end her [alleged] suffering” say she would not live long even with medical interventions. If that were so, why rush to kill her? If she or any other patient with a disability is actively dying, why hurry to withdraw treatment?
Advocates for disability rights have been asking these questions for decades.
In late July, the Court of Appeals for the Second District of Texas held the Texas futility law likely unconstitutional, thereby further protecting Tinslee. Cook Children’s Medical Center still persisted, hoping for a reversal by SCOTX of the appellate court’s ruling before a trial on the constitutionality of the 10-Day Rule.
Disability advocacy organizations Not Dead Yet, National ADAPT, ADAPT of Texas, Protect TX Fragile Kids, and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network joined an amicus brief to SCOTX for Baby Tinslee. The brief was filed on October 8 by Texas health care and civil rights attorney Michelle Hayes, a practicing Catholic from Notre Dame Law School (the same school from which Amy Coney Barrett earned her law degree). Other signers of the brief are:
- The Healthcare Advocacy and Leadership Organization (HALO),
- The Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network,
- Deacon Keith Fournier (also a Catholic attorney),
- The True Texas Project,
- Right to Life of East Texas,
- The Common Good Foundation, and
- Grassroots America We the People
Two Texas Catholic bishops who have consistently rebuked the 10-Day Rule also signed the brief: Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland, Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, and Most Reverend René H. Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi. Bishop Gracida cited then-Pope John Paull II: “Every medical action must always have its object — intended by the moral agent — the promotion of life and never the pursuit of death.” Address to the Italian Catholic Doctors Association (28 December 1978): Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, 1 (1978), 438.
PETITION UPDATE (9/26/2020):
With President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we are closer than we have been in decades to seeing Roe vs. Wade overturned.
We now encourage the Senate to confirm Barrett as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Judge Barrett has a fantastic track recond on sanctity of life issues, has seven children, and is a devout believer. She is the perfect remedy for Ruth Bader Ginsburg's radical pro-abortionism.
Please READ the full story here: 'BREAKING: Trump nominates Catholic mom of 7 Judge Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court'
And then, please SIGN this petition telling the High Court that it's now time to end the activist Roe vs. Wade judgment. Thank you!
PETITION UPDATE (6/29/2020):
In a decision which has imperiled more abortion-minded women, sentenced more preborn to death, and upset pro-lifers across the nation,the United States Supreme Court decided 5-4 to strike down a Louisiana law requiring basic medical precautions in the event of abortion complications, with Chief Justice John Roberts reversing his own past decision to uphold a similar Texas law.
Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, which held that the Louisiana law was unconstitutional for the simple fact that it was “almost word-for-word identical” to the Texas one the court already struck down in 2016.
In his concurring opinion, Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged that he had “joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided. The question today however is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case.”
We call on the Supreme Court to stop supporting the culture of death and overturn Roe vs Wade, now.
PETITION UPDATE (1/20/2020):
Hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C., this coming Friday, January 24th, for the March for Life. They will be praying for an end to Roe vs Wade, as the Supreme Court will hear a crucial, abortion-related case later this year in March. United our voices can change the course of history. Sign this petition TODAY! (LEARN MORE BELOW)
PETITION UPDATE (1/3/2020):
In advance of the Supreme Court's hearing arguments in an important abortion case later this year in March, 207 U.S. Senators and Representatives have signed amicus briefs supporting a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital nearby an abortion center.
Some of these supporting briefs also suggest that now is the time to reconsider Roe vs Wade as sound law.
Please SIGN this petition, calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Roe vs Wade.
More than 60 million Americans have been slaughtered in their mother's wombs as a result of Roe v. Wade. This activist, unconstitutional ruling in 1973 has left countless women emotionally and psychologically scarred.
It was believed by many that Roe would be overturned in 1992 with Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Despite having eight Republican-appointed judges at the time, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to uphold it.
Since then, major gains have been made in the fight for life, and many lives have been saved.
However, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, leaving millions of defenseless pre-born children vulnerable to murder.
According to a 2016 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of aborted babies are African American, despite black women only making up six percent of the U.S. population. 19% of aborted babies are Hispanic.
We thus again call on the court to do everything they can to end Roe vs Wade.
Now is the time for pro-lifers to join together and ensure that all of God's children have a right to life.
Roe v. Wade must come to an end!
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Predictably, the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (TCCB), the lobbying and administrative arm for the Texas episcopacy, albeit with no canonical authority, sided with the hospital to euthanize Tinslee. The very church that prides herself on caring for the destitute and displaced has tightened ties to the pro-death medical lobby, smothering the disabled in that suffocating yoke. However, the TCCB can no longer present a unified position in support of the 10-Day Rule with Bishops Strickland and Gracida publicly opposing the law and working to protect Baby Tinslee’s Right to Life.
Catholic healthcare institutions constitute a concrete sign of the way in which the ecclesiastical community take care of the sick following the example of the Good Samaritan. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter “Samaritus bonus” on the care of persons in the critical and terminal phases of life (22 September 2020), n. 9.
Baby Tinslee’s case now returns to the district court, which will consider these questions:
- Are the rights of Baby Tinslee being violated?
- Should a hospital have unilateral authority to withdraw life-sustaining medical treatment from a patient against the will of the patient/surrogate?
- Do patients have any due process rights in these situations?
- Is the 10-Day Rule of the Texas Advance Directives Act unconstitutional?
The date of the trial has not been set by the 48th District Court over which Judge Sandee Marion presides. Cook Children’s must continue treating Baby Tinslee throughout the waiting period and the trial.
Tinslee’s case spotlights judicial philosophy; in other words, the judge could rule according to a strict interpretation of the Constitution and due process rights, or she may grant rights to a hospital to decide who lives and dies. There are many possible outcomes, but whatever decision is issued, this judicial decision will impact EVERY hospitalized patient in Texas.
A single judge could decide if Baby Tinslee lives or dies.
Published with permission from Texas Right to Life.