A California man’s family is upset after his life-threatening diagnosis was delivered to him by a doctor, via a robot.
On March 3, a nurse wheeled a robot into the ICU of 78-year-old Ernest Quintana at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center emergency department in Fremont, California, their granddaughter, Annalisia Wilharm, told USA Today.What she didn’t expect was what happened after the nurse opened the door. Wilharm didn’t see a human being, but a machine with a video screen of a doctor. She told USA Today the machine was there to tell her grandfather how the hospital had run out of effective treatments.
According to KUTV, Wilharm said her grandfather couldn’t hear much of what the machine was saying and they kept needing the robot to repeat itself. 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. “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.Wilharm wrote to USA Today that her grandfather Ernest died last Tuesday.
According to Wilharm, the medical staff told her the robot is “policy” and “what we do now.” Their family hopes they can review these policies and how they break life-threatening news to dying patients.