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Quality of life at the end of life

Biden Praises Hospice Nurses: ‘You Do God’s Work’

‘You’re truly remarkable people. Your presence is a blessing.’

LIFE MATTERS MEDIA STAFF

Former Vice President Joe Biden praised hospice nurses during an event celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Visiting Nurse Health System.

“Simply put, you do God’s work,” Biden told a crowd of nurses in Atlanta, Ga., last week.

Biden, who served as the event’s featured speaker, is a politician uniquely qualified to speak on loss and death.

Shortly after Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate for the first time in 1972, his wife, Neilia, and their baby daughter, Naomi, were killed in a car accident. Biden reportedly took his oath of office from a hospital room.

In 2015, his son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer at 46. Joe Biden told those in attendance that his family has been beneficiaries of hospice care “more than I’d like to acknowledge.”

Biden’s own parents, as well as his wife Jill’s, also benefited from hospice care before they died.

Visiting Nurse Health System provides in-home medical and palliative care throughout Atlanta. Proceeds from the luncheon went to Hospice Atlanta, which provides comfort care to dying patients at home.

“Doctors allow you to live,” Biden said. “Nurses, you make us want to live. I just want to personally thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’re the most underrated profession in all the world.”

Hospice aims to provide comfort care and pain management rather than aggressive treatments- usually for terminally ill patients with six months or less to live. Hospice is most often used when curative treatments are no longer effective.

According to Atlanta Magazine, Biden also spoke of “how profoundly” hospice nurses affect the mental health of families who lose a loved one.

“What I don’t understand is how you have so much empathy, so much caring, and how you handle it. You’re truly remarkable people. Your presence is a blessing,” Biden said.