Terminal illness describes a disease such as cancer or heart disease which is
life-threatening and beyond reach of extant medical interventions. Typically a
life expectancy of 6 or fewer months is used as a standard for the condition.
Palliative care, which is medical treatment focusing on symptom reduction
instead of cure, is often provided to terminally ill patients, especially if
such care effectively manages pain and improves other aspects of life. Hospice
care is another good consideration.
Individual or family counseling may help terminally ill patients significantly,
especially if they are impaired by grief, denial, anger, fear, or ongoing
difficulties with family relationships. Therapists who specialize in this area
create an environment where normative emotional processes can progress without
impedance and where important relationships can be healed.