life-support

[lahyf-suh-pawrt, -pohrt]
adjective
1.
of or pertaining to equipment or measures that sustain or artificially substitute for essential body functions, as breathing or disposal of body wastes: Without life-support equipment, the patient might die.
2.
of or pertaining to equipment or measures that provide, within a surrounding hostile environment, as outer space or ocean depths, a life-sustaining environment similar to that found on the earth's surface: the life-support system of a spacecraft or submarine.
3.
of or pertaining to anything that fosters or sustains life, success, or continued existence, as of a person, thing, or nation: the life-support system of the economy.

Origin:
1955–60

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
life-support
 
adj
of or providing the equipment required to sustain human life in an unnatural environment, such as in space, or in severe illness or disability

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Perhaps the strategy is to provide enough long-term life-support to allow such
  tiny, always reversible, glacial steps to proceed.
Even then, the energy required to heft humans and all they would need for
  life-support in an extra-terrestrial colony is immense.
Preventing water scarcity from undermining food security, ecological
  life-support systems, and social stability will not be easy.
After his lungs and kidneys failed, he was on a life-support system for several
  weeks.
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