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French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients


Text by Louise NORDSTROM

Latest update : 2014-08-01

A French hospital has plans to open a wine bar for its terminally ill patients in a bid to help them improve their quality of life, offering them a chance to experience moments "of sharing and conviviality”.

Aside from hosting “medically supervised” wine tastings, the bar will also serve up whisky and champagne provided by sponsors and through partnerships.

The bar, which will be located at the palliative care centre of the Clermont-Ferrand hospital in southwestern France, is scheduled to open its doors in September, a statement from the hospital said.

The head of the unit that proposed the idea, Dr. Virginie Guastella, said she came up with the plan because she felt that terminally ill patients should “have the right to enjoy themselves”.

“It’s a way of rethinking the care of others, taking into account the feelings and emotions that make them a human being,” Guastella told the Local, a Paris-based news site.

The wine bar project was launched "in an attempt to restore longing, taste, desire and even pleasure” to patients who are coming to the end of their lives, she added.

The hospital said that the bar will also provide patients with “moments of sharing and conviviality” at a time when they need it the most.

“A medically supervised wine tasting will help brighten what is often a very difficult period of day-to-day life," it said.

“Why should people nearing the end of their lives be deprived of the flavours of our land?”

Patients will also be allowed to invite friends and family for a drink.

Hospital staff will receive special training from a social anthropologist on how to manage the new practice.

The wine bar has won the support of both patients and authorities, and will be the first of its kind in France, the hospital said.

Date created : 2014-08-01


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