Robot told patient he had days to live

13 Mars, 2019, 06:55 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • 'Elderly man told he's going to die via video-link'

A video of the exchange provided to USA TODAY by Wilharm shows a "robot" being used on Monday to tell grandfather and granddaughter that the hospital had run out of effective treatments.

An elderly man in the U.S. was reportedly told he was going to die via a video-link on what his family described as a "robot". Her mother, Catherine, said, "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".

What she didn't expect was what happened after the nurse opened the door. Wilharm said the machine essentially told Quintana "you might not make it home".

Ernest Quintana's family knew he was dying of chronic lung disease when he was taken by ambulance to a hospital, unable to breathe.

A robot then rolled in and a doctor appeared on the video screen.

Annalisia shot the encounter on video, thinking at first that she could share the test results with her family.

Wilharm told CNN that her family was under no illusions about her grandfather's condition. But they're angered by the way the situation was handled and how the news was delivered.

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"We take this very seriously and have reached out to the family to discuss their concerns", said Michelle Gaskill-Hames, a senior vice president and area manager of Kaiser Permanente Greater Southern Alameda County.

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

Hospital officials say the technology doesn't replace in-person conversations with the patient and loved ones.

That said, Gaskill-Hames says that they will use this situation as an opportunity to improve patients' experience with telemedicine. "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 objective and function of the technology".

She added: "That said, we don't support or encourage the use of technology to replace the personal interactions between our patients and their care teams - we understand how important this is for all concerned, and regret that we fell short of the family's expectations".

Ms Wilharm, 33, figured the visit was routine.

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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