A spokesman for the Diocese of Fort Worth told CNA Jan. 3 that the bishop's offer of assistance had been passed to the Lewis family by Cook Children's, and that "a representative of the family has contacted the Diocese."
Cook Children's said it "has been devoted to this precious baby her entire life, providing compassionate, round-the-clock, intensive care and attention since she arrived at our hospital 11months ago. Her body is tired. She is suffering. It's time to end this cycle because, tragically, none of these efforts will ever make her better."
The hospital also noted that it had contacted "more than 20, well-respected healthcare facilities and specialists over the course of several months, but even the highest level of medical expertise cannot correct conditions as severe as Tinslee's."
Trinity Lewis has asked that the '10-day rule' be found unconstitutional by the Texas court system.
She is being supported by Texas Right to Life, which said that "the 10-Day Rule has robbed countless patients of their Right to Life and right to due process."
Not all pro-life groups agree with Texas Right to Life's assessment.
Texas Alliance for Life, another pro-life organization, noted that the case centers on the dispute resolution process in TADA.
"Texas Alliance for Life supports TADA. It is good public policy, it is constitutional, and it provides a balance between the patient's autonomy and the physician's conscience protection rights to do no harm," the group stated.
Texas Alliance for Life, along with the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops and several other pro-life groups, disability advocates, and medical groups, submitted an amicus curiae brief in the case Dec. 11 stating that TADA "helps achieve their essential objectives" and arguing for its constitutionality.
The brief noted that the Texas bishops' conference "generally supports the framework" of the act "as a balanced dispute resolution process that respects patient dignity and healthcare provider conscience," while also supporting "continued legislative improvements to the act."
The brief concludes by saying that "through the Texas Advanced Directives Act, the Legislature has provided families and physicians with a framework for resolving difficult end-of-life decisions. This design includes a safe harbor encouraging physicians and medical institutions to provide multiple layers of review, culminating in a period of time for families to secure a transfer to another medical facility, during which life-sustaining intervention will continue to be provided. The amici believe that the framework created by TADA is essential and constitutional."
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Disagreement over end-of-life reform is among the three criteria on the basis of which the Texas bishops' conference urged parishes in March 2018 not to participate in the activities of Texas Right to Life.
The bishops said they "have been compelled to publicly correct Texas Right to Life's misstatements on end-of-life care and advance directives, in which Texas Right to Life implied that the legislation the bishops were supporting allowed euthanasia and death panels rather than the reality that the legislation reflected the long-standing Church teaching requiring a balance of patient autonomy and the physician conscience protection."
In its Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, the US bishops' conference notes regarding the seriously ill and dying that "we have a duty to preserve our life and to use it for the glory of God, but the duty to preserve life is not absolute, for we may reject life-prolonging procedures that are insufficiently beneficial or excessively burdensome."
The directives state that "a person has a moral obligation to use ordinary or proportionate means of preserving his or her life. Proportionate means are those that in the judgment of the patient offer a reasonable hope of benefit and do not entail an excessive burden or impose excessive expense on the family or the community," and that "a person may forgo extraordinary or disproportionate means of preserving life."
"Disproportionate means are those that in the patient's judgment do not offer a reasonable hope of benefit or entail an excessive burden, or impose excessive expense on the family or the community."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton released a joint statement Jan. 2 saying that "the state will continue to support Ms. Lewis's exhaustion of all legal options to ensure that Tinslee is given every chance at life."