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France Covid: Children of dead health workers made wards of the state

This will enable them to benefit from social and financial support in honour of their parents who ‘took care of the lives of others’

The children of healthcare workers who died during the Covid pandemic are to become pupilles de l’État Pic: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock

French healthcare workers who died from Covid are to be accorded the special status of ‘Dead while serving the Republic.’ This is usually reserved for army personnel who are killed in action and will make their children pupilles de l’État (wards of the state). 

President Emmanuel Macron had promised last year that this would be the case, and a decree was finally published in the government’s legal publication Le Journal officiel on Saturday (March 26).

President Macron said in a video statement on Twitter that the healthcare workers honoured by the status “took care of the lives of others in the middle of the pandemic,” and should be recognised because of the “lives they saved,” “the lives they gave.” 

A pupille de l’État is normally any child under 18 who has lost or cannot be cared for by both parents and who is therefore supported by their local authority services. Where necessary, these pupils will be put under the care of their local prefecture.

Granting the status to the children of deceased healthcare workers means that those who have lost a parent as a result of their service during the pandemic will now also be able to benefit from “material and moral support to help them to recover, to grow up, to choose their path, to build their life,” President Macron said.

This may include school and university bursaries, careers advice and funding for healthcare costs.

The ‘Dead while serving the Republic’ status will be given to healthcare workers who died from Covid between January 1 2020 and July 31 2022. 

Ward of the state status is also granted to the children of army personnel killed in action and people who were killed during a terrorist attack. 

According to figures from France’s public health body Santé publique, there have been 19 healthcare worker deaths linked to Covid, including five doctors, five carers, one nurse, two other related staff and six professionals not treating patients.

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