March 19, 2019

California man learns he’s dying from physician on robotic video

12 March 2019, 06:26 | Randall Craig

California doctor

Doctor at California Hospital Tells 78-Year-Old Patient He Is Going to Die Soon via Robot Family Disappointed

She said they "don't support or encourage the use of technology to replace the personal interactions between our patients and their care teams" and the centre had fallen short on this occasion.

"The nurse came around and said the doctor was going to make rounds and I thought 'OK, no big deal; I'm here, '" said Wilharm.

Catherine Quintana's father had been in and out of a hospital for weeks, and the family understood that his time was running out.

"No matter how well we deliver very difficult news, it's sad and it's hard to hear", he said.

The elderly man was suffering from symptoms associated with the chronic lung disease that would rob him of his life.

A septuagenarian Californian learned of his impending death through a video link, outraging his family, which protested the dehumanized and robotic way in which the news was delivered.

"I was going to lose my grandfather", she told KTVU.

Wilharm said her grandfather, a family man who kept every childhood drawing he ever gave her, deserved better. "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.

Ernest Quintana passed away on Tuesday.

According to Quintana's granddaughter, Annalisia Wilharm, who was alone with Quintana when the machine rolled into the room, she had to repeat to her grandfather what the doctor was saying because he had hearing difficulties in his right ear, and the machine was unable to go to the other side of the bed.

An official with Kaiser Permanente says it was a "highly unusual circumstance".

"It did not replace previous conversations with patient and family members and was not used in the delivery of the initial diagnosis", she said.

Wilharm told CNN that at that point she had to call her mother and grandmother so they could get back to the hospital.

"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", Ms Gaskill-Hames said.

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

"We will use this as an opportunity to review how to improve patient experience with tele-video capabilities", she added.

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