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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Physical and mental tiredness leading to exhaustion. A lack of energy and motivation that does not seem to be relieved by sleep.

Fecal impaction

A large unmoving mass of hard stool, usually in the large intestine. Fecal impaction, and bowel obstruction generally, can prevent bowel movements from occurring.