Personal information


 Luc Deliens  
Luc Deliens, Professor of Public Health and Palliative Care, is specialised in palliative care and end-of-life care research, including end-of-life decision making. 

Palliative Care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

At the EMGO institute, research is conducted on various aspects of the quality of palliative and end-of-life care and outcomes. 


Luc Deliens has a PhD in Health Sciences, MA in Sociology, and MSc in Human Ecology. Since 2005, he is Professor of Public Health and Palliative Care at the EMGO Institute and the department of Public and Occupational Health. From 2001-2005 Luc Deliens was senior researcher in the EMGO Institute.

Since 2000 he is also Professor and director of the End-of-Life Care Research Group, Ghent University & Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in Belgium ( Professor Deliens has supervised successfully 15 PhD students, and he published over 300 journal articles, book chapters and reports. In 2009, he became the first member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium to represent palliative care and end-of-life care in the Academy.

His work has been supported by grant income of over €16,000,000 in the last 10 years from different funders, including the EU 5th to 7th FP, FWO Research Foundation – Flanders, IWT the Flemish Government Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology, DWTC the Belgian Federal Ministry of Science Policy, VWS the Dutch Ministry of Public Health, ZONMW the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, King Baudouin Foundation and other leading medical and health charities, mainly about cancer and dementia.

He has received several scientific awards for his research and has published extensively on end-of-life care, including palliative care and end-of-life decision-making. His research has been published in leading general medical journals (e.g. Arch Int Med, Brit Med J, Can Med Ass J, JAMA, Lancet, New Eng J Med), leading palliative care journals (e.g. J Pain Symptom Manag, Pal Med, J Pal Med) and in other specialised journals in the fields of public health (e.g. Med Care, J Epidemiol Comun Health), health care sciences & services (e.g. Med Decis Making, Health Serv Res), geriatrics & gerontology (e.g. JAGS, J Gerontology) and oncology (e.g. J Clin Onco).

Research interests 

He is currently supervising 25 PhD students and leading on-going local, national and international studies in Belgium and the Netherlands, namely on end-of-life care trajectories (EURO SENTIMELC study), place of death (IPod study), palliative sedation (UNBIASED study), and was involved in the EURELD study (EU 5th FP) on end-of-life decisions in Europe. Furthermore, his present research includes studies on care setting transitions, prevention of hospitalisation at the end of life, early diagnosis of palliative care needs in general practice, palliative care in nursing homes, advance care planning, end-of-life communication, palliative care quality indicators, euthanasia and other medical end-of-life decisions as well as the attitudes of the public towards palliative care and euthanasia.

Internationally, he is Co-Chair of the EAPC research network and is currently the coordinator of the EU 7th FP EURO IMPACT “the European Intersectorial and Multi-disciplinary Palliative Care Research Training” A Marie Curie Initial Training Network (2010-2014); is Associate Editor of BMC Geriatrics; member of the Advisory Editorial Board of Palliative Medicine; member of the Scientific Committee of the EAPC Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care; member of the Scientific Committee of the EC 7th Framework PRISMA project (2008-2011), an international collaboration on palliative care in cancer patients, coordinated by King’s College London, UK; member of the Advisory Committee for the National Cancer Research Institute – funded Supportive and Palliative Care ‘Cancer Experiences’ (CECo), UK, coordinated by Lancaster University; and member of the Scientific Advisory Group to the “New WHO Guide Palliative Care for the Older People: Better Practice”, coordinated by King’s College London, UK.