California man learns he's dying from doctor on video shown on robot

A US Doctor Told A Patient He Was Dying Via A Video Screen Fitted To A Robot

California man learns he's dying from doctor on video shown on robot

This handout picture released on March 9 by Ernest Quintana's grand daughter Annalisa Wilharm, shows the robot doctor who came to Ernest's hospital room at a Kaiser Permanente facility in Fremont, California, to announce he will soon die.

"This is the robot doctor that came into Cathie's father's ICU room late Monday night and told him he has no lungs left, only option is comfort care".

When her grandmother returned to the hospital, she asked the nurses about the robot. However, when the nurse told them in the intensive care unit that the doctor was going to make his rounds, they did not expect a "robot" to roll into his room.

"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", Catherine Quintana told USA Today.

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

"As a society we can not accept this as a "new norm" or "standard operating procedure". there is still a need for human touch especially in the last hours of your life", Ms Spangler said.

Steve Pantilat, chief of the palliative medicine division at University of California, San Francisco, said he did not know the details in the case, but that robot technology had done wonders for patients and their families, some of whom were too far away for in-person visits. It got to a point where she had to tell her grandfather he was dying because he couldn't hear what the robot was saying.

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In a statement to KTVU, Kaiser Permanente Greater Southern Alameda County senior vice president Michelle Gaskill-Hames described the event as "a highly unusual circumstance". Distorted by the speakers, the doctor's voice was inaudible to Ernest, leaving Annalisia to repeat everything he said to her grandfather.

Kaiser said they are continuously learning how to best integrate technology into patient interactions and will use this experience as an opportunity to make improvements.

"We use video technology as an appropriate enhancement to the care team, and a way to bring additional consultative expertise to the bedside", she wrote.

Wilharm told CNN that a doctor had visited Quintana in person earlier in the day.

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

"We understand how important this is for all concerned, and regret that we fell short of the family's expectations", she said.

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