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.
“The nurse came around and said the doctor was going to make rounds and I thought ‘OK, no big deal; I’m here,” said Wilharm.
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 it 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.
Along with hearing issues, the robot essentially told Quintana “you might not make it home” said Wilharm.
“Devastated. I was going to lose my grandfather,” said Wilharm. “We knew that this was coming and that he was very sick. But I don’t think somebody should get the news delivered that way. It should have been a human being come in.”
Whoever sent that "robot" deserves to get his license pulled. That's outrageous. In my wildest imaginings, I couldn't picture my husband ever doing something like that. Not that he ever lost many patients -- he was gifted.
Nobody likes that particular aspect of medicine. Particularly, if the patient was young (i.e. teenaged motorcycle rider sans helmet being t-boned). Those are very difficult deaths and take an emotional toll on anyone who has to be the one to tell the family. But eventually, a doctor must realize he/she is just a doctor and not God. Some patients are beyond the help of medical knowledge.
Nevertheless, the human aspect of patient care should never be sacrificed. This story is completely appalling. My guess is this doc will eventually find himself sued by somebody (if he hasn't already been) simply because he doesn't care and it shows.