WTH?! California Grandfather is Told That He’s Dying By ‘Robot’ Doctor
The family of a California man is outraged after a hospital used a robotic “doctor” to break the news to their elderly loved one that he is dying from chronic lung disease.
The incident took place on March 3, when a nurse wheeled in a machine with a screen showing a doctor into 78-year-old Ernest Quintana’s hospital room at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center emergency department in Fremont, California.
“The nurse came around and said the doctor was going to make rounds and I thought ‘OK, no big deal; I’m here,” his granddaughter Annalisia Wilharm told USA Today.
Instead of a human being, the nurse wheeled in the robot, who informed Quintana and his family that they have run out of options for medical treatment and wanted to put him on a morphine drip to ease the pain until his passing.
“Annalisia Wilharm needed to restate much of what the the machine communicated, as her grandfather struggled to hear and understand. They learned that the doctor believed Quintana would not be able to return home for hospice care. They discussed the appropriate amount of morphine to use to ease Quintana’s suffering,” USA Today reports.
The hospital has apologized and said that they regret falling short of the patient’s expectations.
“The evening video tele-visit was a follow-up to earlier physician visits,” Michelle Gaskill-Hames, senior vice president of Kaiser Permanente Greater Southern Alameda County, told USA Today. “It did not replace previous conversations with patient and family members and was not used in the delivery of the initial diagnosis.”
The family has not accepted the apology.
Quintana passed away on Tuesday.