Parents are their baby's strongest advocates. If parents feel strongly that their child deserves more help, then they will stand up for them and fight. That is exactly what a family is doing for their 9-month old baby girl in Texas.
Tinslee Lewis of Fort Worth has been fighting for her life ever since she was born. Born prematurely, the little girl has a heart defect, chronic lung disease, and high blood pressure. She is unable to breathe on her own and has been on a ventilator since July of this year. According to the law, doctors have the right to remove life support machines if they suspect that the patient is suffering. Within that same law, if the patient's family disagrees with the doctors, they then have 10 days to find another hospital that will accept the patient, or the doctors can remove the machines.
This law has been in the news before, and many believe it needs to be amended. Spokeswoman of Texas Right to Life, Kimberlyn Schwartz, stated, "Don't give the family just 10 days to navigate that complicated process. That's almost impossible for an average family to do." The process Schwartz mentions can include transferring medical records, validating insurance policies, and ultimately finding a doctor that believes the patient is not suffering. Fortunately, the Lewis family sought an extension of time through the courts and were awarded a restraining order against the doctors that will last until November 22nd.
A huge aspect of this conflict is that because of the law, families do not get a say in when to remove life support. Schwartz continued to say, "Morally, these decisions should be left with patients and families."
Although the doctors are obligated to do everything they can in order to save a patient, do they really have the right to tell a family they are going to remove life support machines without the family's consent? Only a few other states have laws so strict as this one in Texas, and cases like this are very rare. But that doesn't mean these families should not be heard and their stories not be told.