Published: Wed, March 13, 2019
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

California patient family infuriated over learning father's death via robot video

California patient family infuriated over learning father's death via robot video

Her 78-year-old father, Ernest Quintana, had lung disease and was struggling to breathe on his own.

"May be OK for some situations but not to tell a Man he is going to Die", a family friend wrote in a Facebook post that included a screen shot of a video taken by the patient's granddaughter, Annalisia Wilharm.

"If you're coming to tell us normal news, that's fine, but if you're coming to tell us there's no lung left and we want to put you on a morphine drip until you die, it should be done by a human being and not a machine", his daughter Catherine Quintana said.

Wilharm was sitting by her grandfather's bedside in the ICU of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fremont, California, last Monday night when the machine rolled into their room and a doctor, appearing via live video link, offered his grim prognosis.

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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That said, Gaskill-Hames says that they will use this situation as an opportunity to improve patients' experience with telemedicine. She said she and her family hope no one else receives the same treatment.

It was through the video call that the doctor told Quintana that he only had days to live.

Ms Wilharm, 33, figured the visit was routine.

Wilharm said she had no idea who the doctor was or where he was located.

"The use of the term "robot" is inaccurate and inappropriate".

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"The next thing I know he's telling him, "I got these MRI results back and there's no lungs left, there's nothing to work with".

The machine could only reach the right side of the bed but Mr Quintana was hard of hearing in his right ear, requiring his granddaughter to repeat everything the remote doctor said.

"So he's saying that maybe your next step is going to hospice at home", Wilharm is heard saying in a video she recorded of the visit.

The family of a United States man with chronic lung disease were left astounded when a robot fitted with a video screen rolled into his room to deliver the news that he was dying.

The video meetings are warm and intimate, he said, adding that not all in-person discussions have empathy and compassion. While his family was aware that his condition was not great, they were shocked that news of this calibre was not delivered in person.

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Quintana's family is quite upset with how the news was broken to him, saying that he deserved better than that.

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