Medical robot tells man he is dying

Occurred: March 2019

A man suffering from lung failure was told he was going to die by a doctor talking through a robot-mounted video screen at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Fremont, California. 

Instead of being informed by a qualified doctor, 79-year-old Quintana was told of his fate through a RP-VITA telepresence robot equipped with a video screen.

Quintana's family was devastated by the incident, and implored the hospital to use human-beings to deliver news of this type. Hospital staff said they were acting in accordance with a new Kaiser Permanente policy. 

However, a company spokesperson said in a statement it was a 'highly unusual circumstance,' and that it would use it 'as an opportunity to review our practices and standards with the care team.'

Operator: Kaiser Permanante Medical Center
Developer: InTouch Health; iRobot
Country: USA
Sector: Health
Purpose: Interact with patients remotely
Technology: Robotics
Issue: Ethics

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2023