MONTREAL, January 4, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) - Dr. André Bourque, president and co-founder of Quebec’s Vivre dans la Dignité (Living With Dignity) network, passed away on December 29, 2012.

Dr. Bourque was the head of Family Medicine and interim head of Palliative Care at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), and an associate professor in the department of general medicine at the University of Montreal.

As president and co-founder of Vivre dans la Dignité, Dr. Bourque launched a campaign in 2010 to stop euthanasia and assisted suicide from being “smuggled” into Quebec’s public health care system under the guise of medical treatment.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said Dr. Bourque’s death is a great loss of a great leader to all people who are concerned about the respect and dignity of the human person.

“It’s a tragic loss,” Schadenberg said to LifeSiteNews.com “Dr. Bourque was a great leader, and he was a compassionate and caring man who was open and willing to talk, and who showed his great concern for the wellbeing and dignity of all people.”

Dr. Patrick Vinay, vice-president of Living with Dignity and a palliative care specialist said, “Dr. Bourque was a man of action, a man of great thoughtfulness, who was at the forefront of the defending the rights of the sick and the most vulnerable and ensuring they received care appropriate to their condition at all times.”

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Dr. Bourque co-authored a brief against euthanasia and assisted suicide that was backed by more than 100 doctors in Québec and presented to the Collège des Médecins du Québec on August 31, 2009.

The document, titled “Say No to Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: No Special Circumstance Can Justify Them,” asserted that Canadian law affirms the intrinsic value of human life.

A press release from Vivre dans la Dignité on Dr. Bourque’s death stated that the group “had the immense privilege of benefiting from Dr. Bourque’s tireless work and wonderful example from the founding of the network in 2010. He was known and respected for his profound humanity and his ability to rally others to our common cause.”

The wake for Dr. Bourque was scheduled for Friday, January 4, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Centre funeral Côte-des-Neiges, 4525 chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal.

The funeral will be held at the Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde, 1085 Rue de la Cathédrale, Montreal, on Saturday, January 5, at 10:30 a.m.