Comfort from a Robot?

by Jen Bose, AAHPM Coordinator, Marketing & Membership

After reading Last Moment Robot: ‘End of Life Detected’ I was a little torn. I didn’t know if I felt having a robot comfort me during the last hours or minutes of my life was creepy or really forward thinking and almost logical. As long as I can remember technology has been a huge part of my life and the lives of everyone around me. That part of me thought that the idea was pretty rational and that it makes complete sense. That is probably the same part of me that loved Terminator 2 as a child. Robots and computers have been integrated into everyday life and dying is part of that process. It seems like the next natural step.

While there is no replacement for genuine human interaction and compassion, I think the “last moment robot” would be oddly comforting to me. Perhaps my family couldn’t be with me because of timing or distance. I would want someone or something there with me. Is a robot that comforts you really that different from seeking the same comfort from a teddy bear or other stuffed animal? If given the choice between spending my last hours alone or with a robot that has been developed to mimic the comforting effect of another person I would take the robot. Would you?

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