Following a proposal from the Spanish Socialist Party, the Spanish Parliament is set to discuss a bill to depenalize and regulate euthanasia in the country. Following this, the ultra-conservative anti-choice One of Us Federation, published an article in which it express that it “rejects the choice of even talking about a possible law that regulates this issue.” It also states that its “experience shows us that the introduction of a law on euthanasia is always the best way of destroying people who suffer from a disability.”
Not so surprised by the vehemence of this radical rejection of even holding a debate on such a fundamental topic, we asked our Member Organisation Europa Laica to provide us with further details on the issue.
We wholeheartedly thank Antonio Gómez Movellán, President of Europa Laica for having shared the below insights.
ONE OF US: An ultra-Catholic lobby with business interests.
by Antonio Gómez Movellán, President of Europa Laica
In Spain, euthanasia is a crime and anyone who helps someone else die is considered a criminal offender. Sentences range from four years to eight years in prison according to article 143 of the Criminal Code. There is however strong social pressure to decriminalize and regulate euthanasia since, according to official surveys, 83% of Spaniards want a law on the subject.
The historical pressure of the Catholic Church in Spain and in Europe has been key in hampering the development of the right of people to die in dignity. For years, the rights of women and LGTB, were torpedoed in Spain under the pressure of the Catholic Church. And they remain so. Family and the “sacredness” of life are the arguments they use to undermine human dignity. All governments of the left or right succumbed to this for forty years. It is civil society that imposed advances on issues such as same-sex marriage, decriminalization of abortion, civil marriage or faster divorce. Euthanasia however seems to be an insurmountable barrier.
In this way, organizations such as Opus Dei, San Juan de Dios or Hermanas hospitalarias, among others, are increasingly involved in the palliative care business. In some regions, almost 60% of the places of palliative care are controlled by Catholic organizations.
The European lobby One of us – a lobby composed of “pro-life” and ultra-Catholic sectarian organizations and chaired by Jaime Mayor Oreja – has launched a campaign to prevent euthanasia from being decriminalized in Spain. This ultra-Catholic campaign coincides with the presentation, in the Spanish Parliament, of several initiatives for the regulation of euthanasia. Indeed, the Socialist Party recently presented a timid bill that regulates euthanasia in certain cases.
One Of Us is already putting Spanish parliamentary groups under pressure – especially Ciudadanos and Partido Popular – not to approve this bill. The lobby is very interested in confronting euthanasia with “palliative care”.
Life is sacred and is above freedom of conscience because life is of God: this kind of cheap theology fuels the business made by many Catholic hospitals in the domain of palliative care. In this way, organizations such as Opus Dei, San Juan de Dios or Hermanas hospitalarias, among others, are increasingly involved in the palliative care business. In some regions, almost 60% of the places of palliative care are controlled by Catholic organizations. In addition, taking into account the privatizing tendencies of public health, there is pressure for this type of services to be provided in Catholic hospitals.
The president of the lobby One of us, is an old acquaintance of politics in Spain and boasts a “Christian Democrat” affiliation. He considers abortion as “something typical of the Bolsheviks” and euthanasia “typical of totalitarian states”
Behind One of Us, there are organizations like Hazte Oir that are characterized by their homophobic and transphobic campaigns. One of Us is a network of ultra-Catholic European organisations ready to take root and spread its reactionary values. In its manifesto, one can read the following: “We are aware that our values have been in decline during the last decades (…) in Spain and in Europe, there is almost no distinction between political parties from left, right or center. They seem to have submitted to globalist interests aiming towards a dictatorship against human beings. That is why we do not want to remain trapped as a political party. We want to go further. We want to address this crisis by its roots and it will only be possible with the mobilization of thousands and millions of citizens.”
When it come to the European Union, the founding manifesto is clear:
Our main adversaries are those carrying a lack of ultimate meaning, the loss of social commitment, individual subjectivism and moral relativism. They do not only have a European dimension but also a global one. The European Union must be the expression of a set of values based on Judeo-Christian roots.
What One Of Us tries to do is bring together the most reactionary pro-life organizations in Europe and develop a discourse against “moral relativism”. It tries to mobilize Catholics to stop the advance of the rights of people in Europe and impose Catholic moral in society. In the name of the supposed Judeo-Christian roots of Europe, One of Us wants to condemn people’s sexual freedom and freedom of conscience. Now it is Spain’s turn: instead of euthanasia, they want palliative care developed in Catholic hospitals. A very Christian alternative indeed, besides the fact that it is also very profitable for the pockets for Catholic hospitals.