March 29, 2012 ( – Spain’s two major parties, the conservative People’s Party (PP), and the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE), have joined their votes to thwart the introduction of legislation that would permit euthanasia and assisted suicide. 

Under the slogan “life is a right, not an obligation,” the Plural Left, a coalition of three small socialist parties, offered a bill yesterday to eliminate criminal penalties to one who by “necessary actions or active cooperation, permits, brings about, or facilitates death with dignity and without pain of another person, with express, free, and unequivocal permission of the same, when they suffer from a serious illness that would have definitely caused his death.”

The legislation also would have given individuals the right to “understand at least the purpose and nature of each intervention and treatment, as well as the risks and consequences,” and to “refuse to consent to a treatment” if they so wished.

The proposal was roundly rejected by Spain’s two biggest parties, which are normally at loggerheads over human life and family issues.

Maria Torrado of the PP said that her party supports the extension of palliative care, which “helps to improve quality of life and to ensure that the patient is without pain,” and that “it is unnecessary to open a debate about euthanasia and its penal deregulation” which “adds no value to care beyond a clear ideological intention.”

Julio Villarrubia of the PSOE enunciated a similar position, in favor of ensuring that the end of life occurs “without pain” but “without speaking of euthanasia.”  Although he agreed with some provisions of the bill, he noted that what the Plural Left is proposing is a crime under Spanish law.