• Ernest Quintana dies of chronic lung disease. aged 78
  • Hospital defends ‘evening tele-visit’ with onscreen doctor

Ernest Quintana’s family knew he was dying of chronic lung disease when he was taken by ambulance to a hospital, unable to breathe. But they were devastated when a robot machine rolled into his room in the intensive care unit that night and a doctor told the 78-year-old patient by video call he would likely die within days.

“If you’re coming to tell us normal news, that’s fine, but if you’re coming to tell us there’s no lung left and we want to put you on a morphine drip until you die, it should be done by a human being and not a machine,” his daughter Catherine Quintana said.

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