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French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

A hospital in south central France is set

A hospital in south central France is set to open a wine bar for terminally ill patients next month. Credit: Fotolia

Ah, the French. If the Internet is to believe, they just do everything a little bit cooler, don’t they? A quick search will reveal how the French raise children better, eat better, look better and now …. take care of their terminally ill better.

A hospital in south central France is set to open a wine bar for terminally ill patients next month.

The bar will offer fine wines, champagne and whiskey, according to a post on the hospital’s website and an article on the English-language French news site, The Local, and also be open to patients’ guests.

The hope is that indulging in a libation or two will restore some of the simple pleasures end-of-life patients typically lose and promote positive experiences for the patients and their families, said Dr. Virginia Guastella, manager of the Center for Palliative Care at CHU Clermont-Ferrand, the hospital where the wine bar will be located.

“It’s a way of rethinking the care of others, taking into account their feelings and emotions that make them a human being,” she told The Local, adding that palliative care can last several weeks or months.

While we doubt they’ll be checking IDs, the wine bar will be supervised. Guastella is bringing in social anthropologist Catherine Legrand Sebille, who wrote a study on the positive impact food and wine can have on a person’s last days, to help train hospital staff in the matter.

And even the hospital acknowledges the very “Frenchness” of it all, writing, “The French maintain a hedonistic relationship with food and wine,” making those things synonymous with “special moments of sharing and conviviality.” Or more simply, as Guastella adds, “The right to have fun.”

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