TX legislators request special session to save patients like Baby Tinslee

Sixteen members of the Texas Legislature sent a bipartisan letter to Governor Greg Abbott asking him to call a special session to repeal the deadly 10-Day Rule.The law has recently made headlines over the case of 10-month-old Tinslee Lewis, who is currently fighting for her life at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.

Baby Tinslee is conscious.

Texas Right to Life's Kimberlyn Schwartz said initially the hospital said Tinslee could live with medical assistance that her condition was not fatal, but then changed once the case was thrust in the spotlight.

"It's hard to know whether they really do believe that she is suffering or if they just have done this for a quality of life reason. In their original statements, it was clear that this was a quality of life judgement that they're imposing on Tinslee," said Schwartz. "It's a lot like Terri Schiavo’s case where somebody is imposing their quality of life judgements on another person that would deprive them of life. This is a huge injustice."

She said through the courts, they've bought more time for baby Tinslee to live.

Texas Right to Life prioritized House Bill 3158 during the Regular Session of the 86th Legislature that would have put into law more patients’ rights while maintaining a process for medical professionals to communicate their concerns about treatment.The reform would bring Texas in line with 11 other states with similar legal frameworks.

"This Texas law is unprecedented, unconstitutional, and unethical.Respect for vulnerable patients’ dignity and autonomy means we should first listen to the patient and surrogates on these basic life and death decisions.We are grateful for the action of these bold legislators in calling for a special session to remove this 20-year-old injustice from our laws," said Texas Right to Life Legislative Director John Seago.

The 10-day provision of the Texas Advance Directives Act allows a hospital to pull the plug against the patient or family’s will for any reason after 10 days’ notice is given.

Legislators signing onto the letter are as follows:

  • Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe)
  • Senator Bob Hall (R-Edgewood)
  • Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)
  • Representative Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg)
  • Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston)
  • Representative Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth)
  • Representative Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville)
  • Representative Tom Oliverson, M.D. (R-Cypress)
  • Representative Leo Pacheco (D-San Antonio)
  • Representative Jared Patterson (R-Frisco)
  • Representative Scott Sanford (R-McKinney)
  • Representative Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford)
  • Representative Valoree Swanson (R-Spring)
  • Representative Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington)
  • Representative Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands)
  • Representative James White (R-Hillister)

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