Hi, I'm new here and I was just wondering if anyone was able to help; my step-grandfather has been in ICU for 4 weeks after suffering a freak-fall and becoming paralysed from the neck down. He is on a ventilator and has been having physio, whilst also being told that he is just waiting for a bed in a specialist spinal unit so he can receive more specialist care. He is completely aware of what is going on, is beginning to slowly breathe on his own and is talking to family for longer periods each day. However, after visiting this evening my parents were told that he had been informed by the consultant today, whilst on his own, that he wasn't expected to improve and a decision had to be made; did he wish to continue living on a ventilator with no movement below the neck, or did he wish for the ventilator to be switched off and he would die. I just can't believe that this option was even given to him as a patient and the lack of optimism from the doctors has shocked the whole family. I just wanted to know if anyone knew the ethical practice behind this, and if there was any cause to take this further as we are extremely upset by not only what was said, but how the matter has been approached.
Thanks in advance to anyone who can help!