TEXAS BISHOPS GO ALL-IN ON BABY DEATH
Prelates file legal brief to protect hospitals over patients
FORT WORTH, Texas (ChurchMilitant.com) – Texas bishops are continuing to choose hospital rights over a patient’s right to life.
The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (TCCB) is appealing to the Texas Supreme Court to terminate treatment for 1-year-old Tinslee Lewis.
Texas’ highest civil court received the case last week when Cook Children’s Hospital (CCH) filed an appeal in its ongoing attempt to remove treatment. TCCB has supported treatment cut-off at every step.
In their appeal, CCH describes Lewis as a lifeless shell being kept alive artificially. A lower court rejected this argument in July when two doctors came forward to say the hospital had made an erroneous diagnosis, affirming that Lewis could receive non-extraordinary treatment.
When TCCB was informed that the hospital had misdiagnosed Lewis, that it was lying to the courts about Lewis’ condition, the communications consultant for the bishops’ conference replied that they “respectfully decline the opportunity to respond to your inquiry.”The bishops have doubled down to protect the Texas Advance Directives Act.Tweet
Instead of reconsidering their support of CCH on the Lewis case, the bishops have doubled down to protect the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) from being struck down, despite full knowledge their support will result in the death of a child who is being targeted under the law.
What is TADA?
TADA was enacted under Gov. George W. Bush as a means of facilitating dispute resolution for the contested decisions of treatment providers. Since that time, Texas Right to Life (TRTL), which originally was a partner in passing the law, has sought to improve upon the law through several legislative sessions. This has included passing legislation to ban the practice of denying food and water to patients.https://www.youtube.com/embed/-3DfabuVBBY
Another goal has been to remove the “10-Day Rule,” wherein, after a medical treatment provider’s ethics panel decides to withhold treatment, the grieving family has 10 days to find a hospital willing to accept transfer of the patient.
The biggest opponents to the passing of pro-life legislation have been the TCCB and Texas Alliance for Life (which critics have called a “faux-life” organization).
Tinslee’s Fight for Life
Lewis has beaten the odds since her birth. She was born with congenital heart disease and suffers from other ailments. CCH treated her for nine months before deciding they were no longer willing to do so. CCH claimed during an ethics panel inquiry that there was nothing that could be done for Lewis; subsequently, it told the courts treatment was not only futile but added to Lewis’ suffering.
CCH’s testimony was disproved in July when two independent doctors, Glenn Green and Patrick Roughneen, evaluated Lewis and determined that the hospital had made an erroneous diagnosis, and many treatment options could be utilized if Lewis were taken off a ventilator and given a tracheostomy (trach) tube.
CCH had previously asked Lewis’ mother, Trinity, if she would be willing to allow a trach tube to be inserted. Trinity asked for time to research the procedure, but the next day, when she told the hospital she was willing to allow the procedure, CCH took the option off the table and left Lewis on the ventilator. She has remained on the ventilator for many months, notwithstanding the reigning medical consensus that holds that a patient should not remain on a ventilator longer than two weeks.
After Dr. Green and Dr. Roughneen determined Lewis could be treated, CCH decided it would allow the procedure, but only if Lewis’ mother agreed to first sign a do-not-resuscitate order. Lewis’ treatment has been postponed by further appeals in the courts and is now awaiting judgment by Texas’ highest court.
The TCCB has not replied to the latest query, as of the time of publication.