Advance Directives Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Advance Directives article.

Abortion: In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (t...

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Advance directives: These directives pertain to treatment preferences and the designation ...

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Assisted living: A type of long-term care facility for elderly or disabled people who are ...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cardiac: Having to do with the heart.

Cardiopulmonary: Having to do with both the heart and lungs.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation: A life-saving emergency procedure that involves breathing f...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Cognitive: Having to do with thought, judgment, or knowledge.

Coma: A state of deep, unarousable unconsciousness. A coma may occur as a result of head t...

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CPR: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Dementia: Significant loss of intellectual abilities, such as memory capacity, that is sev...

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Dialysis: The process of cleansing the blood by passing it through a special machine. Dial...

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Durable power of attorney: A type of advance medical directive in which legal documents pr...

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Electroshock therapy: See Electroconvulsive therapy.

Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Grief: The normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death...

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Health care proxy: An advance medical directive in the form of a legal document that desig...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Hospice: A program or facility that provides special care for people who are near the end ...

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Incurable: Not amenable to a cure. Incapable of being cured, healed and made well again. ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Intubation: The process of putting a tube into a hollow organ or passageway, often into th...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Life support: 1. A therapy or device designed to preserve someone's life when an es...

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Life-support: Pertaining to life support, as in "He is only here because of the life-suppo...

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Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Living will: An advance medical directive that specifies what types of medical treatment a...

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Long-term care facility: A facility that provides rehabilitative, restorative, and/or ongo...

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MPH: Master of public health, a degree designating successful training in analyzing past, ...

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Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintena...

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Nursing home: A residential facility for people with chronic illness or disability, partic...

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Nutrition: 1) The science or practice of taking in and utilizing foods. 2) A nourishing ...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Resuscitate: To restore to life. Derived from the Latin resuscitare, to reawaken.

Resuscitation: The procedure of restoring to life, as in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CP...

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Sibling: A brother or sister.

Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

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Traumatic brain injury: Brain damage from trauma. The three leading causes of death from t...

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Tube feeding: See: Enteral nutrition.

Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Uncertainty: "Medicine's ground state is uncertainty. And wisdom -- for both patients and ...

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Unconscious: 1. Interruption of awareness of oneself and one's surroundings, lack ...

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Ventilator: A machine that mechanically assists a patient in the exchange of oxygen and ca...

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Medical Dictionary