PARIS — A hospital in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand is to open a wine bar where terminally ill patients will be able to enjoy a "medically-supervised" glass or two with their families. "Why should we refuse the charms of the soil to those at the end of their lives? Nothing justifies such a prohibition," the Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital Center said in statement. The center's head, Dr. Virginie Guastella, said terminally ill patients had the right to "enjoy themselves."
The bar will be the first in France to offer such a facility for patients and their families. Staff will be specially trained before it opens in the hospital's palliative care center in September. "Medically supervised tastings will help brighten what is often a difficult daily life," the hospital said. Although some researchers have long held that an antioxidant found in red wine is good for the heart, some recent research has determined that wine's health benefits are exaggerated.