California patient, 78, told he is going to die via robot videolink

Pearl Mccarthy
March 13, 2019

But the hospital also defended its use of the robot and said its policy is to have a nurse or doctor in the room at the time of remote consultations.

"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".

What she didn't expect was what happened after the nurse opened the door. Would you agree that there's nothing "warm and intimate" about a doctor's robot video message telling a patient they most likely will not be going home because they're going to die!

Medical bosses are being criticised after a doctor told a 78-year-old man he was going to die via robot videolink. A robot rolled in and a doctor appeared on the video screen.

As her grandfather had a hearing problem, she had to relay the news, KTVU reported. "Unfortunately, there's nothing we can treat very effectively", he said, according to a video recording that Wilharm shot on her cellphone.

Her mother, Catherine Quintana, was not happy after seeing the video.

The Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, where Quintana was being treated, responded in a statement carried by USA media in which it offered condolences to the family but disputed the characterization that the news was delivered by "robot".

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Wilharm told CNN that her family was under no illusions about her grandfather's condition.

"In every aspect of our care, and especially when communicating hard information, we do so with compassion in a personal manner", she said, adding that the term "robot" is "inaccurate and inappropriate".

"The evening video tele-visit was a follow-up to earlier physician visits", Gaskill-Hames said in a written response.

Michelle Gaskill-Hames, senior vice-president of Kaiser Permanente Greater Southern Alameda County, called the situation highly unusual and said officials "regret falling short" of the patient's expectations. "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".

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

Their family hopes they can review these policies and how they break life-threatening news to dying patients. "It felt like someone took the air out of me", she said.

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