Be the first to like.

Share

By Evan Selinger with Arthur Caplan

On March 3, 78-year-old Ernest Quintana was admitted to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center’s emergency department in Fremont, California. Quintana was suffering from lung disease; it was the third time he had been admitted to the hospital in 15 days. As his granddaughter Annalisia Wilharm stood by his bedside, a machine on wheels with an attached digital screen rolled into Quintana’s room. A live-streaming image of a doctor in a remote location appeared on the screen to tell the pair that Quintana didn’t have long to live.

While Quintana’s family “knew he was dying of chronic lung disease,” they weren’t expecting him to die imminently and in the hospital. While repeating aloud what the remote physician was saying to her hard-of-hearing grandfather, Wilharm had to be corrected. She suggested the next step might be “going to hospice at home,” but the physician told them he didn’t think Quintana would make it that far. He died in the hospital the next day.

Quintana’s family was justifiably horrified by how this news — the worst medical update any family could receive — was conveyed. His daughter Catherine Quintana told news outlets, “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. It just shouldn’t happen.” People expressed outrage on social media, calling the exchange not just underwhelming but unbearably cruel. Doctors chimed in, bemoaning the fact that they are given little time to talk to patients about anything, even a death sentence.

…continue reading ‘How Physicians Should and Shouldn’t Talk With Dying Patients’

Image via Facebook – Julianne Spangler

Be the first to like.

Share
Medium

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply