California patient family infuriated over learning father's death via robot video


Over the robot's video screen, Wilharm says she and her grandfather learned that Quintana's lungs were failing and he did not have long to live.

"It was giving his results of his CT scan, and basically telling him he had no lungs left and the only thing he could recommend would be comfort care", said daughter Catherine Quintana.

He passed away the following day.

Ms Spangler said she wanted the media to get involved in the situation after Kaiser Permanente said it would "take note" of the family's complaints.

"I was so scared for him and disappointed with the delivery", Wilharm said, choking up.

Wilharm says getting the news from a screen was awful for her and her grandfather, she also said the hospital should have had more dignity and compassion. She said she and her family hope no one else receives the same treatment. "We offer our honest condolences", she said.

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".

As she stood by her grandfather's side in the ICU and waited for his doctor, a robot wheeled itself into the room.

As her grandfather had a hearing problem, she had to relay the news, KTVU reported.

"So he's saying that maybe your next step is going to hospice at home", Wilharm is heard saying in a video she recorded of the visit. She said that after the visit, he gave her instructions on who should get what and made her promise to look after her grandmother.

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

However, she also defended the use of the technology, stating that telemedicine does not replace in-person conversations with patients, and that the technology allows the facility to have more specialists to help with patient care.

Mr Quintana is said to have died on Tuesday, two days after he was admitted to hospital. "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", Kaiser Permanente said.

Gaskill-Hames said the hospital does not encourage the use of technology to replace personal interactions between patients and health care workers.