Our glossary explains some of the medical and legal terms used in palliative care. Glossary words are underlined in the Topics and Asked and Answered sections, with definitions appearing when you hover on a word.


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End-of-life care

Care that is designed to meet the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical needs of patients and caregivers facing terminal illness.


A liquid inserted into the rectum that helps stool pass from the bowel.

Enteral feeding

A treatment used to provide nutrition. Liquid nutrients are given through a tube to the stomach or intestine. Also known as tube feeding.


A treatment used to manage pain in a region of the body. Medication is injected into the space between the vertebrae and the covering of the spinal cord.

Existential distress

Suffering related to unresolved life issues from the past, present or future.