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Jan Bernheim

Jan Bernheim

Em. Prof. of Medicine and Medical Ethics, Affiliate members
+32 477 72 65 16


MD, PhD, FACP, MFPM - Medical Oncologist

Jan L. Bernheim, born 1941, is a physician (University of Gent 1966), a medical oncologist, PhD in medical sciences (PhD work on cell death, University of California San Diego and Vrije Universiteit Brussel 1978), Master in Public Management (Université Libre de Bruxelles 1990). His successive appointments were at the universities of Gent, Amsterdam, Brussels, Butare (Rwanda), UC San Diego and Brussels again. His publications include over 100 international peer-reviewed articles. They range from studies of cell death and hormonal carcinogenesis to quality of life and end-of-life issues. His current research areas include hormonal carcinogenesis in relation with prenatal exposure to diethylstilboestrol (DES), Anamnestic Comparative Self Assessment (ACSA), an original cross-culturally applicable method to measure subjective quality of life and the Patient-Physician Information and Communication Covenant (ICC), a procedural ethics method to help resolve conflicts between patient autonomy and physician beneficence. The ICC aims to maximize patient autonomy according to patient preferences, independently from the cultural and sub-cultural context. He co-founded the first Palliative Care organisation in continental Europe in 1979 and the European Study Group for Quality of Life of the European Organisation for Research on the Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) (1979), of which he was the first chairperson. His third world activities included teaching, the promotion of family planning and social development projects in Rwanda before the (predicted) 1994 genocide. Recently retired, he is an emeritus professor and researcher in carcinogenesis, medical ethics, end-of-life issues and quality of life in the End-of-Life Care Research Group of the Faculty of Medicine, the Study Group Evolution, Cognition and Complexity (ECCO) and the Centrum Leo Apostel for interdisciplinary research of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Coma Science Research Group of the University of Liège.