law and medicine

palliative care

Medical care designed to keep a patient comfortable and pain-free while also providing psychological and spiritual support. Rather than focusing on curing an illness, palliative care emphasizes quality of life for both the patient and the patient's family members. Used negatively, it may mean the provision of only perfunctory medical care when an illness could be cured.

intermittent leave

Leave taken under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in separate blocks of time rather than all at once. For example, an employee with chronic asthma may occasionally need a day or afternoon off when the condition flares up, or an employee receiving chemotherapy may need to take a few hours off every other week for treatment.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

A federal law that enables employees and their families to continue health care coverage under an employers group health plan even after they experience an event -- such as a layoff, termination, cut in hours, or divorce -- that would otherwise end their coverage. Employees and their families must pay the full premium, but they get to pay the employer-negotiated group rate, which is often less expensive than an individual rate. This continued coverage lasts for 18 to 36 months, depending on the event that made the employee eligible.

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