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Family appeals judge's decision to take 11-month-old off life support

Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The family of an 11-month-old Texas girl on life support said they will appeal an appeals court chief judge's decision that a Fort Worth hospital can end treatment.

Cook Children's Hospital has said Tinslee Lewis, who was born in February with severe medical problems, will not get better and prolonging life support care is only putting her in continual pain.

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The hospital said 19 other medical facilities have agreed with their diagnoses when they reached out about transferring the toddler.

The family has argued that the girl needs more time to get better and only her mother, Trinity Lewis, can make the decision to take the child off life support.

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Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals Chief Justice Sandee Marion agreed with the hospital Thursday, saying the treatment is causing the child needless suffering.

"I am heartbroken over today's decision because the judge basically said Tinslee's life is not worth living," Lewis said in a statement released by Texas Right to Life, which has been supporting the family.

"I feel frustrated because anyone in that courtroom would want more time just like I do if Tinslee were their baby. I hope that we can keep fighting through an appeal to protect Tinslee. She deserves the right to live," she continued.

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The full appellate court will hear a plea for an emergency stay to give the girl more time.

The apex of the argument is a rule in the Texas Health & Safety Code that allows doctors to stop treatment after 10 days if they cannot find another hospital to take the patient, commonly referred to as the "10-day rule."

"We pray the appellate court will identify how the law violates Baby Tinslee's due process rights, revoke her death sentence and strike down the deadly 10-day Rule," Texas Right to Life said.

In a joint statement, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton said they support Lewis's effort to appeal the court decision.

"The state of Texas is fully prepared to continue its support of Ms. Lewis in the Supreme Court, if necessary," the statement said. "We are working diligently to do all we can to ensure that Tinslee and her family are provided the care and support that they seek."

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