California man learns he's dying from doctor on video shown on robot

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While his family was aware that his condition was not great, they were shocked that news of this calibre was not delivered in person.

Julianne Spangler, a friend of Mr Quintana's daughter, posted a photo of the robot on Facebook and said it "told [Mr Quintana] he has no lungs left only option is comfort care, remove the mask helping him breathe and put him on a morphine drip until he dies".

"Devastated. I was going to lose my grandfather", said Wilharm.

This is the robot that informed 78-year-old Ernest Quintana that he only had days to live.

Wilharm, 33, said a tall machine on wheels eventually rolled into the room.

As her grandfather had a hearing problem, she had to relay the news, KTVU reported. "I think the technological advances in medicine have been wonderful, but the line of "where" and "when" need to be black and white", she added.

Her mother, Catherine Quintana, was not happy after seeing the video.

A spokeswoman for the hospital offered "sincere condolences to the family" in a statement sent to CNN. When she attempted to confirm the doctor's advice on next steps and at-home hospice, the doctor said: "you know, I don't know if he's going to get home".

Kaiser Permanente Senior Vice-President Michelle Gaskill-Hames issued a statement following the passing of Mr. Quintana nearly a week later.

Wilharm wrote to USA Today that her grandfather Ernest died last Tuesday.

She said they "don't support or encourage the use of technology to replace the personal interactions between our patients and their care teams" and the centre had fallen short on this occasion. It "allows a small hospital to have additional specialists such as a board-certified critical care physician available 24/7, enhancing the care provided and bringing additional consultative expertise to the bedside".

"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 to explain the objective and function of the technology", Ms Gaskill-Hames said.

"It does not, and did not, replace ongoing in-person evaluations and conversations with a patient and family members", the center said. "It felt like someone took the air out of me", she said.

"We regret falling short in meeting the patient's and family's expectations in this situation and we will use this as an opportunity to review how to improve patient experience with tele-video capabilities".

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