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Chris Gastmans


Chris Gastmans (born 1966) is Full Professor of Medical Ethics at the Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven, Belgium. He started his academic career in 1990 at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law, Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven. He has a Doctoral Degree in Theology, KU Leuven (1995). His doctoral dissertation is a critical study of the historical, anthropological and moral theological foundations of nursing ethics, conceptualised as an ethics of care. Since 2002, he has been member of the Bureau as Secretary-general (2002-2010), Treasurer (2010-2013) and currently as President (2013-) of the European Association of Centres of Medical Ethics (EACME) to which 66 centres for medical ethics in Europe are affiliated. By means of the annual EACME conference, the weekly online newsletter and by participating in the EACME scholarship exchange program, Prof. Gastmans has entered into close relations with European centres for medical ethics. He is regularly invited to be a member of review panels to assess academic research programs and to assess research proposals within the EU research program Horizon 2020.

Prof. Gastmans is co-ordinating the research lines ‘Clinical ethics and care for older people and end-of-life care’ and ‘Fundamental research into care ethics’. The research is done by an interdisciplinary staff of moral theologians, moral philosophers and nursing scientists. The interdisciplinary structure of the research group allows for carrying out applied ethical research, as well as foundational ethical research.

Prof. Gastmans is the co-ordinator of the following empirical and philosophical research projects: Ethics of Care: Fundamental Research into the Underlying Views Regarding Care and the Human Person (2002-2006); Nurses' Involvement in Euthanasia (2003-2008); Written Ethics Policies on Euthanasia in Healthcare Institutions (2005-2009); Nurses' Involvement in Withholding/Withdrawing Artificial Food and Fluid Administration (2007-2010); Nurses’ Ethical Behaviour and Physical Restraints in Hospitals (2008-2012); Risk, Luck, and Responsibility in Health Care (2008-2014); Care for Older People with regard to Intimacy and Sexuality (2010-2016); Artificial Nutrition and Hydration in PVS Patients: Normative-Ethical Foundations (2012-1016); Palliative Care in Psychiatry (2013-2015); Lived Experiences of Corporality and Embodiment in the Care for Islamic Women (2014-2018); Communication About the End of Life in Nursing Homes: a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (2014-2018) and of the EU research project Ethical Codes in Nursing: European Perspectives on Content and Functioning (2002-2005).

He is a member of the Editorial Board of the international journals “Nursing Ethics” (SAGE, London) and “Nursing Philosophy” (Blackwell Publishing, Oxford). He writes regularly editorial comments for international journals. He published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed, international journals. Thirty articles have been published in national journals. Additionally, 7 books and 30 book chapters have been published on end-of-life care ethics, elderly care ethics, empirical ethics, ethics of care, and nursing ethics.

Prof. Gastmans teaches Medical Ethics, Nursing Ethics and Ethics of Care at various faculties of the KU Leuven. He co-ordinates the Intensive Course Nursing Ethics (Erasmus Mundus Master of Bioethics – 5th edition in 2015) and the Summer Course on Ethics in Dementia Care 1st edition in 2015). He serves as an ethicist in the ethics board of European funded projects (e.g. PROactive, as well as in the ethics committees of Zorgnet Flanders (co-chair) and the University Hospitals of Leuven and in several local ethics committees. Furthermore, Gastmans is a member of the European Clinical Ethics Network.



Last Updated: Friday 06 February 2015