An 11-month-old baby girl named Tinslee has been thrown into the center of a legal battle between her parents and the hospital where she’s been since she was born. According to CBS 11, Tinslee was born prematurely in February 2019. After her birth, she was admitted into the NICU and diagnosed with Ebstein’s anomaly.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Ebstein’s anomaly is “is a rare congenital heart defect that’s present at birth.” The heart defect, as CBS 11 reports, has also left her with chronic lung disease and severe high blood pressure.
Parents Fight for Right to Keep Baby Girl Tinslee on Life Support Despite Hospital’s Push Back
Because of the heart defect, the 11-month-old baby girl needs “full respiratory and cardiac support” and has been put in a deep sedation in order to “keep her medically paralyzed.” As CBS 11 reports, in November, the Texas hospital that has been caring for Tinsley invoked the state’s “10-day rule.”
The rule forces families to find another hospital within 10 days if they choose to “disagree with doctors who decide to take a patient off life support.” In response, Tinslee’s family won a temporary restraining order against the hospital forcing Tinslee’s medical team to keep her on life support.
The 11-month-old’s mom, Trinity, described her daughter as “conscious,” adding that she “had favorite nurses, enjoyed toys with lights and that her favorite movie is Trolls.” The following month, the family and the hospital went back to court.
The Cook Children’s hospital agreed to keep her on life support for seven more days so that her parents could file a notice of appeal and a motion for emergency relief. However, in January, a Fort Worth district court judge denied the temporary injunction the would keep her on life support, siding with the hospital.
A spokesperson for the hospital told CBS 11 that “just changing her diapers, turning her over so she doesn’t develop bedsores – all the things we have to do to keep her alive and well are causing her pain and suffering and we don’t want to do that any longer.”
The hospital also said that they tried to find another hospital who would take over Tinslee’s care, but claimed that each of the other institutions “agreed with their diagnosis.”
Trinity said in response to the court’s decision, according to CNN:
“I am heartbroken over today’s decision because the judge basically said Tinslee’s life is NOT worth living. I feel frustrated because anyone in that courtroom would want more time just like I do if Tinslee were their baby. I hope that we can keep fighting through an appeal to protect Tinslee. She deserves the right to live. Please keep praying for Tinslee and thank you for supporting us during this difficult time.”
However, now Tinslee’s parents are being backed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton. As CBS 11 reports, both Abbott and Paxton have filed an amicus curiae letter in the Second Court of Appeals.
The letter agrees with Tinslee’s parents, suggesting that the courts should “grant an emergency stay of the judge’s order denying their request for a temporary injunction.” Paxton said in a statement:
“This case presents a life-or-death decision. The right-to-life and the guarantee of due process are of the utmost importance not only to baby Tinslee [SIC] and her family, but to all Texans. I will continue to fight for Tinslee and my office will continue to use all necessary resources to ensure that she will not be deprived of her right to live.”
Ultimately, the court did grant the emergency stay, but Tinslee’s family’s fight is far from over. It’s unclear what the hospital’s next steps will be.
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