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French hospital introduces wine bar to improve quality of life for terminally ill

Hospital says it wants to ‘re-humanise’ patients by providing a place for them to have a drink and socialise with family and friends.

Image: Shutterstock

THE FRENCH HAVE long been famed for their unshakeable belief in the health benefits of a glass of wine.

Now, one French hospital plans to take things a step further by opening a wine bar aimed at improving the quality of life of terminally-ill patients.

The bar at Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital in central France will open in September.

It will be housed in the hospital’s palliative care centre and patients will be able to invite friends and family to share a drink with them.

The first of its kind in France, the bar would “cheer up the difficult day-to-day existence of patients,” head of the centre Virginie Guastella told AFP.

“The aim is to ‘re-humanise’ patients by improving the quality of their day-to-day existence and also by giving them the pleasure of being able to offer and receive,” she said.

The bar would also allow families facing bereavement to “create moments of conviviality” despite being in a hospital environment, she added.

“It’s a little detail but it can make all the difference.”

Staff at the hospital will receive special training from a social anthropologist on how to handle patients who come to the bar.

In addition to wine, the bar will also stock beer, whisky and champagne.

- © AFP, 2014

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