California man told he was dying by doctor via video link

'Elderly man told he's going to die via video-link'

'Elderly man told he's going to die via video-link'

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".

"I think they should have had more dignity and treated him better than they did", Wilharm told CNN.

Mr Ernest Quintana received the news last Monday at a hospital in Fremont, California, when a doctor appeared on screen in a video call and told him. "The evening video tele-visit was a follow-up to earlier physician visits - it did not replace previous conversations with patient and family members and was not used in the delivery of the initial diagnosis". She was astonished by what the doctor started saying.

Wilharm was alone with her grandfather when the doctor remotely told Quintana that his lungs were failing and he would not be going home.

She filmed the interaction on her phone as the doctor relayed the results of her grandfather's tests. When the question of hospice care came up, the doctor shared a grim outlook: "I don't know if he's going to get home". She said that after the visit, he gave her instructions on who should get what and made her promise to look after her grandmother.

"It didn't matter (to the hospital) that his wife of 58 years wasn't there for that", she said.

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

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. 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".

"We will use this as an opportunity to review how to improve patient experience with tele-video capabilities".

"Our health care staff receive extensive training in the use of telemedicine, but video technology is not used as a replacement for in-person evaluations and conversations with patients", reads the statement, which was published in full by KTVU.

Ms Wilharm, 33, figured the visit was routine. "Unfortunately, there's nothing we can treat very effectively", he said, according to a video recording that Wilharm shot on her cellphone.

"That was one of the worst days of my life", she said.