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California man learns that he is dying of doctor on robot video

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Ernest Quintana's family knew he was killed by chronic lung disease when taken by ambulance to a non-breathable hospital. But they were destroyed when a robot machine rolled into their room in the intensive care that night and a doctor told the 78-year-old patient through video calls he would probably die within a few days. "If you will tell us normal news, it is good, but if you will tell us there is no lung left and we want to put you on a morphine drop until you die, it should be done by a human and not a machine, his daughter Catherine Quintana said Friday. Ernest Quintana died Tuesday two days after being taken to the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fremont. Michelle Gaskill-Hames, senior vice president of Kaiser Permanente Greater Southern Alameda County, called the situation very unusual and said that officials "repent briefly" of the patient's expectations. But the hospital also defended its use of telemedicine and said her policy is to have a nurse or doctor in the room at the time of remote consultation. "Tonight's video tele-visit was a follow-up to previous medical visits," Gaskill-Hames says in a written response. "It did not replace previous conversations with patient and family members and were not used when delivering the first diagnosis. " Hospital officials say the technology does not replace personal conversations with the patient and loved ones. Grandchildren Annalisia Wilharm, 33, was alone with Quintana when a nurse came in to…

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Ernest Quintana’s family knew he was killed by chronic lung disease when taken by ambulance to a non-breathable hospital.

But they were destroyed when a robot machine rolled into their room in the intensive care that night and a doctor told the 78-year-old patient through video calls he would probably die within a few days.

“If you will tell us normal news, it is good, but if you will tell us there is no lung left and we want to put you on a morphine drop until you die, it should be done by a human and not a machine, his daughter Catherine Quintana said Friday.

Ernest Quintana died Tuesday two days after being taken to the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fremont.

Michelle Gaskill-Hames, senior vice president of Kaiser Permanente Greater Southern Alameda County, called the situation very unusual and said that officials “repent briefly” of the patient’s expectations.

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

“Tonight’s video tele-visit was a follow-up to previous medical visits,” Gaskill-Hames says in a written response. “It did not replace previous conversations with patient and family members and were not used when delivering the first diagnosis. “

Hospital officials say the technology does not replace personal conversations with the patient and loved ones.

Grandchildren Annalisia Wilharm, 33, was alone with Quintana when a nurse came in to say that a doctor would do their rounds. A robot rolled in and a doctor appeared on the screen.

Wilharm thought that the visit was routine. She was surprised at what the doctor started to say.

“This guy can’t breathe, and he has this robot trying to talk to him,” she said. “Meanwhile, this guy tells him,” So we have your results back and there is no lung left. There is no lung to work with. “”

Wilharm said she had to repeat what the doctor told her grandfather, because he heard hard in his right ear and the machine couldn’t get to the other side of the bed.

“So he says maybe your next step goes to hospice at home,” Wilharm heard in a video she recorded on the visit. “Right?”

“You know, I don’t know if he comes home,” says the doctor.

Steve Pantilat, director of the palliative medicine division at the University of California, San Francisco, said he did not know the details of the case but that robotics has done wonders for patients and their families, some of which are also far away for person visits.

The video meetings are warm and intimate, he said, adding that not all personal discussions have empathy and compassion.

“No matter how good we deliver very difficult news, it’s sad and it’s hard to hear,” he said.

Wilharm said her grandfather, a family member who kept every childhood drawing he ever gave her, deserved better. She said that after the visit he gave her instructions on who would get what and made his promise to take care of her grandmother.

“He was such a sweet guy,” she said.

9 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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