A request by nurses at a Danish hospital to break the rules and allow a terminally ill patient to have a glass of white wine and a cigarette have become a social media sensation.
Aarhus University Hospital in central Denmark made the decision, with the agreement of family members, to grant Carsten Flemming Hansen his final wish to enjoy a drink and a smoke after he spoke to his nurses.
“It was a very cosy and relaxed atmosphere”
Mr Hansen, 75, was admitted with an inoperable spur on the artery in his stomach, with a matter of hours or days before he was expected to die from internal bleeding.
The hospital revealed the incident in a post on the social media site Facebook, which noted that nurses and the patient’s family had agreed that his “greatest wish” was “more important than the treatment, prevention and smoking rules”.
Therefore, he was wheeled out onto a balcony where he could “enjoy the cigarette, the cool glass and a beautiful sunset” with his family.
As of today, the hospital’s Facebook post on the incident, including a picture of Mr Hansen sleeping quietly on the balcony, has received around 74,000 likes, more than 5,100 shares and 2,700 comments.
Danish nurses break rules to give patient final wish
“It was a very cosy and relaxed atmosphere,” said one of the hospital’s nurses, Rikke Kvist, in a short video also posted on Facebook.
“Of course, there were relatives also affected by the fact he was going to die, and they were sad,” she added.
She said the reaction on Facebook “confirms to me that I did the right thing, and I’ve actually known all along”.