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Robot tells man he'll be dead in hours

Nurses   (2,665 Views 42 Comments)
by Emergent Emergent (Member)

Emergent has 25 years experience and works as a Emergency Room RN.

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You are reading page 2 of Robot tells man he'll be dead in hours. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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I also don't think this is a huge outrage. I work nights nights in a unit that uses Telehealth intensivists overnight. For the most part when we have something urgent and serious to communicate, the tele health intensivist calls the hospitalist and has them come up and have a conversation with the family. However this isn't always possible. Sometimes the doctor on the screen has to deliver news that is less than ideal. The article clearly states that this is not a new diagnosis. Nor was it the first conversation about the patient's condition.

I have a feeling there is more to this story. I have the feeling it was something like the patient has been told multiple times they are terminal and the end is near, yet they were almost certainly a full code still. They probably were at the point where they either needed to be intubated or be made a DNR and allowed to pass. I would 100000000 times over rather see a Telehealth provider have this convo via a screen than to not have the convo, intubate the patient, and watch them slowly die on a vent over the course of the next few days. If the family isn't going to be receptive, they aren't going to be receptive. Whether it's via a robot or a human. And given the fact that this wasn't the first convo on the patient's condition I have a feeling this was the way it was. 

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN and works as a Internal Medicine.

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While I think that such talk is highly preferred to be done in person, we live in 2019. Technologies like essentially "moving screen" (as far as I understand, it was not a "robot" but telemed device with doctor sitting somewhere else but still talking in real time) are going to be everywhere pretty soon. 

I agree that we as providers and clinicians not only avoid inevitable talks, but in many cases consciously lie to patients under premice of "not robbing 'em of hope". There are tons of causes of us doing so, not the last of them being our (otherwise, very human) wish of provide comfort and what will be perceived as "caring and gentle attitude". The pressures of totally wrong in so many instances doctrine of "customer satisfaction" cannot be taken fr om the table as well. But there always comes that time where true words have to be spoken. 

Still, I couldn't imagine doing this through tele. I am not afraid of these talks. But I feel that, even for 15 min., I need to be there for these people, so at least they do not feel alone.

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umbdude has 1 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a RN.

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I agree that it's misleading to call it a robot. It's a monitor with a live person on the other side. 

With new technology there's going to be a learning curve. Lessons learned. Perhaps the hospitals should ask in advance whether family/patient mind this kind of delivery or they'd rather wait for a live person to deliver the news.

Somehow I think this mattered more to the family more than the patient. The guy dying probably could care less.

 

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NightNerd has 5 years experience and works as a Bedside Nurse.

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Yeah, this would not bother me as a family member at all, especially if there was another hospital staff member present in the room while the video call took place. It was not a robot, it was a consulting physician who seemed to be confirming a prognosis that the family was already aware of. This outrage is misplaced, though certainly the technology exists to make this approach more user-friendly for the hard of hearing.

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I really hate telepsych for the same reason. Used for involuntary commitments in several hospitals I deal with.  If you are going to take away a patient's rights, you should have to assess them in person.

Same goes for informing them that they are dying. That's an in person job.

And it doesn't matter that much to me if the doc had already said it 3 times. 

 

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Emergent has 25 years experience and works as a Emergency Room RN.

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I remember when the doctor told me my husband was hopeless but we could try a day on the ventilator (They weren't supposed to intubate in the first place, he was a no code), it was in person.  His bedside manner was so bad, I despised him for a long time after that. 

We withdrew life support the next day. This is difficult time for families. I agree, it's not fair to demand the doctor at the bedside over and over again for each family member. Some families have unrealistic expectations. 

Edited by Emergent
Typo

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12 hours ago, Sour Lemon said:

The more I think about it, I have a problem with the "robot" aspect of the claim, too. A "robot" didn't tell anyone anything at anytime. It was a video call from a human being.

The more I think of it, the more I agree with you.

When I think “robot,” I think of that mindless thing that wanders Stop and Shop scaring the hell out of people (I think it catches attention to messes?). Not this.

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9 minutes ago, Emergent said:

I remember when the doctor told me my husband was hopeless but we could try a day on the ventilator (They weren't supposed to intubate in the first place, he was a no code), it was in person.  His bedside manner was so bad, I despised him for a long time after that. 

We withdrew life support the next day. This is difficult time for families. I agree, it's not fair to demand the doctor at the bedside over and over again for each family member. Some families have unrealistic expectations. 

My ‘like’ is in support - I’m sorry, Emergent.

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Emergent has 25 years experience and works as a Emergency Room RN.

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9 minutes ago, pixierose said:

My ‘like’ is in support - I’m sorry, Emergent.

That was over 20 years ago, but thanks. 

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osceteacher has 15 years experience and works as a Practice educator.

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Poor robots are getting tarred with a brush they don't deserve. They've got no chance when they become self aware.

A 'robot' did nothing, a human thought it best to tell a patient they were dying by videophone attached to a device. There's more to this story that the heading, it is not deplorable. 

Edited by osceteacher

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After reading the headline I thought ‘this is a horrid dystopian nightmare’.  After reading the article I thought, ‘someone is jockeying for free money via a sensationalized lawsuit.’ MDs has spoken with the family earlier that day about hospice care, and it was clear the video MD was just following up.  

Sure it’s possible that the granddaughter hadn’t heard, but that just shows a major fault in their intra familial communication.  Also the fact that she must have been told afterward by her family they’d already been informed, this reeks of attention/litigation seeking behavior.

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cec0007 has 1 years experience.

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I agree the "robot" moniker was unnecessary and was click bait.

I do have a problem with the way it was handled, however.  Had the doctor telecommunicated only with the family, with news they were prepared for, I'd not have a problem with it.  However, this doctor was informing (or attempting to, had the patient been able to hear) the patient himself that he had only a few days to live.  That should have been done in person by someone. 

If the facility couldn't manage to do that, it needs to make some changes.  People are still human and this would be difficult and distressing news to handle for almost anyone, even those who already knew they had a serious health condition.  Surely we have not become that impersonal in our care of patients.

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