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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A food, medication or other substance used to produce bowel movements. Most often used to treat constipation.

Living will

A document that outlines treatment decisions a patient wants made if he or she is unable to communicate or make decisions in the future. See Advance care plan.