palliative care

noun

Medical Definition of palliative care

: medical and related care provided to a patient with a serious, life-threatening, or terminal illness that is not intended to provide curative treatment but rather to manage symptoms, relieve pain and discomfort, improve quality of life, and meet the emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the patient Many still believe palliative care is appropriate only when nothing more can be done to treat a patient's disease and prolong life. But unlike hospice, palliative care can and should be delivered while patients continue treatment for their diseases.— Jane E. Brody, The New York Times, 3 Dec. 2013

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