end of life
the variable period during which dying individuals and their families, friends, and caregivers face issues related to the imminent prospect of death. The end-of-life concept is a way of considering the total context of an approaching death, rather than medical factors only. End-of-life issues include decisions relating to the nature of terminal care (hospice or traditional), whether to resuscitate, the distribution of property and assets, funeral and memorial arrangements, and leave taking and possible reconciliations with family and friends. See also advance directive; informed consent.