Published: Tue, March 12, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

California Man Learns He’s Dying from Doctor on Robot Video

California Man Learns He’s Dying from Doctor on Robot Video

"This guy can not breathe, and he's got this robot trying to talk to him", she said.

"It was very matter of fact if you listen to it, I didn't see any bedside manner in it", said Catherine Quintana.

Photo Ernest Quintana died from chronic lung disease. Would you agree that there's nothing "warm and intimate" about a doctor's robot video message telling a patient they most likely will not be going home because they're going to die!

She continued: "He just got the worst news of his life without his wife of 58 years".

Granddaughter Annalisia Wilharm, 33, was alone with Quintana when a nurse popped in to say a doctor would be making his rounds.

Wilharm didn't see a human being, but a machine with a video screen of a doctor.

"Devastated. I was going to lose my grandfather", said Wilharm. "I said, 'Do you want the morphine?' He looked at me like, 'What choice do I have?'" When the family returned to the hospital, they were furious that Quintana was told via video conference that he did not have long to live.

She goes on to confirm he sadly passed away two days after being admitted to hospital.

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The "robot", as Wilharm and her family refer to the machine, displayed a video of a remote doctor who communicated with Quintana.

Ms Spangler said she wanted the media to get involved in the situation after Kaiser Permanente said it would "take note" of the family's complaints.

According to Wilharm, the medical staff told her the robot is "policy" and "what we do now".

The Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, where Quintana was being treated, responded in a statement carried by U.S. media in which it offered condolences to the family but disputed the characterization that the news was delivered by "robot".

"It does not, and did not, replace ongoing in-person evaluations and conversations with a patient and family members", the centre added.

"This secure video technology is a live conversation with a physician using tele-video technology, and always with a nurse or other physician in the room to explain the goal and function of the technology", Gaskill-Hames added.

"He was such a sweet guy", she said.

Gaskill-Hames said the hospital does not encourage the use of technology to replace personal interactions between patients and health care workers.

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