Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver cirrhosis are fatal diseases. This study aimed to investigate survival time and palliative care in terminal HCC and/or liver cirrhosis compared with lung cancer. Between January 2004 and December 2010, we enrolled 116 patients with terminal cirrhosis and/or HCC or lung cancer admitted to a municipal hospital in Japan; 48 had liver cirrhosis, 35 HCC and 33 lung cancer. By retrospective chart review, we evaluated: (i) rate of usage of narcotic analgesics and (ii) survival time from onset of coma (Glasgow Coma Scale less than 8). Time between coma and death was significantly shorter in the liver disease patients (cirrhosis and/or HCC: 7.0 h) than in lung cancer (44.0 h, p = 0.045). Total bilirubin was higher in HCC compared with cirrhosis (p<0.01). Rate of usage of narcotic analgesics was higher in lung cancer (20/33: 60.6%) than in liver disease (17/83: 20.5%, p<0.01); analgesics were used more frequently in HCC than in liver cirrhosis (p<0.01). These results suggest that liver cirrhosis and HCC patients do not always require palliative care and that survival time from onset of coma due to liver disease was not prolonged compared with lung cancer.