California man told of impending death via video-link

Ben Davidson
March 13, 2019

On March 3, he was admitted to a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Fremont, California, for the third time in 15 days, Quintana said.

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

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.

Over the robot's video screen, Wilharm says she and her grandfather learned that Quintana's lungs were failing and he did not have long to live.

According to KUTV, Wilharm said her grandfather couldn't hear much of what the machine was saying and they kept needing it to repeat itself.

A man was given a terminal diagnosis at a California hospital's ICU via a "robot" through which he had a video conference with the doctor. 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.

Mr Quintana's daughter, Catherine, told KTVU that the family was further upset because her father had trouble hearing the doctor through the speakers, forcing Ms Wilharm to relay the awful news.

"The use of the term "robot" is inaccurate and inappropriate", Gaskill-Hames exclaimed.

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Wilharm, 33, said a tall machine on wheels eventually rolled into the room.

Gaskill-Hames, the hospital spokeswoman, said the health care provider is "continuously learning how best to integrate technology into patient interactions". She says it did not replace previous conversations with patients and family members.

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

Wilharm said the in-person doctor was "very sweet" and held her grandfather's hand as she spoke with him about hospice care and his options.

"We regret falling short in meeting the patient's and family's expectations in this situation and we will use this as an opportunity to review how to improve patient experience with tele-video capabilities", Ms Gaskill-Hames added. His family is upset with how the situation was handled.

His daughter's friend Julianne Spangler hit out at bosses at the centre, saying it did not show compassion to the patient.

Julianne Spangler, a friend of the family, shared an image of the moment on Facebook, saying that "This is the Robot Dr".

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