The State of Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Gov. Greg Abbott filed an amicus curiae letter today in the Second Court of Appeals, agreeing with the Lewis family that the Ft. Worth appellate court should grant an emergency stay of the trial court’s order denying the family’s request for a temporary injunction until the appeal is finally resolved and, thus, preserving the life of 11-month old Tinslee Lewis.
“This case presents a life-or-death decision,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton. “The right-to-life and the guarantee of due process are of the utmost importance not only to baby Tinslee 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.”
Currently, section 166.046 of the Texas Health and Safety Code states that a physician who decides that treatment is medically inappropriate – along with an ethics or medical committee that affirm the decision - is not required to provide life-sustaining treatment at the request of a patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient unless a court orders otherwise. The statute fails to require that physicians provide an explanation of why they refused life-sustaining treatment and provide the patient’s family with adequate notice and opportunity to argue their position prior to the committee reaching a decision, effectively allowing the government to deny an individual’s right to his or her own life and to do so without due process.