Other state anti-abortion groups, such as the Texas Alliance for Life, believe, as do Tinslee’s doctors, that the girl is in constant pain and will never recover. Texas Alliance for Life has avoided intervening on Lewis’s behalf, and Dr. Joe Pojman, the group’s executive director, said the hospital is justified ethically in following Texas law, which says an ethics committee of physicians may remove a patient like Tinslee from life-sustaining machines after 10 days if they conclude that her health will not improve.
“The ethics committee at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, the facility that has wonderfully kept Tinslee alive since birth, agreed with the doctors’ assessment that the best course of action was to discontinue life-sustaining intervention causing her undue harm,” Pojman wrote in the Federalist.
The groups, both dedicated to opposing abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide, disagree on the constitutionality of the 10-day rule. The Texas Alliance for Life supports a Jan. 2 court decision allowing Tinslee’s doctors at Cook Children’s to remove Tinslee from life support. While also seeking out other hospitals for Tinslee, Lewis is working with Texas Right to Life to appeal the decision on the grounds that the 10-day rule denies patients due process.
Texas Right to Life argues, despite physicians testifying otherwise, that Tinslee’s condition is not fatal and that the 10-day rule “allows a hospital committee to pull the plug on the child against her mother’s will for any reason.” The group called a press conference with Lewis on Jan. 6 to advocate for Lewis’s right to make health decisions for her daughter.
“Just like any parent, I want the best for my daughter. I definitely respect Tinslee’s physicians’ abilities and their opinions, but I have not had a voice in her current care plan,” Lewis said.
The Texas Alliance for Life, on the other hand, said the rule allows parents and doctors to work together to decide whether keeping a patient on life support is prolonging his or her suffering with no hope of recovery.
“We regret that there is a pretty stark difference between Texas Right to Life regarding the dispute resolution process,” Dr. Joe Pojman told the Washington Examiner. “We believe it’s the best part of the law because it allows doctors and families to decide what the best options are to provide for the terminally ill patient and gives the family time to find an alternative provider.”