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A terminally ill patient is told by a robot that he doesn’t live long anymore.

A terminally ill patient is told by a robot that he doesn’t live long anymore.

The health care sector is undergoing major developments. Robots, for example, already help in carrying out complex operations. But sometimes developments take a turn for the better, as was the case with the 78-year-old Ernest Quintana. He was told by a robot that he would die in a few days.

According to the AP, Quintana had to rush to the hospital after he was breathless. This appeared to be related to a chronic lung disease, which had previously been diagnosed as terminal. But when a robot came rolling into the room, no one had expected him to be told that he would only be alive for a few days. However, this did happen; via a video link the doctor told Quintana that he didn’t have long left.

Robots everywhere

If you were to tell us normal news, it would be fine, Quintanas’ daughter Catherine told the AP. But when you come to tell us that there are no lungs left and you get morphine until you die, a person should do that and not a machine. The controversial decision to bring the news via video, leads to a discussion about the use of robots in sensitive situations in which some empathy can be expected.

Increasing staff shortages in sectors such as education and care make it necessary to apply robotics. Recently, for example, another robot was presented that has sensors that can be used by these patients to scan. The robot then establishes a connection with a doctor, who can talk to the patient via video and then make a diagnosis.

But where robots are slowly becoming visible in everyday life, there is also some resistance. For example, people are not very satisfied with robots in the retail industry, which are bound to the strict software that they have at their disposal and therefore do not show empathy or situational awareness. The care sector also shows how difficult this can sometimes be, and that it is important that there is some emotion in robots before they are applied.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.