THIRD DIVISION [G.R. No. 122445. November 18, 1997] DR. NINEVETCH CRUZ, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and LYDIA UMALI, respondent s.

D E C I S I O N FRANCISCO, J.: "Doctors are protected by a special law. They are not guarantors of care. They do not even warrant a good result. They are not insurers against mishap or unu sual consequences. Furthermore they are not liable for honest mistake of judgme nt "[1] The present case against petitioner is in the nature of a medical malpractice su it, which in simplest term is the type of claim which a victim has available to him or her to redress a wrong committed by a medical professional which has caus e bodily harm.[2] In this jurisdiction, however, such claims are most often brou ght as a civil action for damages under Article 2176 of the Civil Code,[3] and i n some instances, as a criminal case under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code [4] with which the civil action for damages is impliedly instituted. It is via the latter type of action that the heirs of the deceased sought redress for the petitioner's alleged imprudence and negligence in treating the deceased thereby causing her death. The petitioner and one Dr. Lina Ercillo who was the attending anaesthesiologist during the operation of the deceased were charged with "reckl ess imprudence and negligence resulting to (sic) homicide" in an information whi ch reads: "That on or about March 23, 1991, in the City of San Pablo, Republic of the Phil ippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused abovena med, being then the attending anaesthesiologist and surgeon, respectively, did t hen and there, in a negligence (sic), careless, imprudent, and incompetent manne r, and failing to supply or store sufficient provisions and facilities necessary to meet any and all exigencies apt to arise before, during and/or after a surgi cal operation causing by such negligence, carelessness, imprudence, and incompet ence, and causing by such failure, including the lack of preparation and foresig ht needed to avert a tragedy, the untimely death of said Lydia Umali on the day following said surgical operation."[5] Trial ensued after both the petitioner and Dr. Lina Ercillo pleaded not guilty t o the above-mentioned charge. On March 4, 1994, the Municipal Trial Court in Ci ties (MTCC) of San Pablo City rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of wh ich is hereunder quoted as follows: "WHEREFORE, the court finds the accused Dr. Lina Ercillo not guilty of the offen se charged for insufficiency of evidence while her co-accused Dra. Ninevetch Cru z is hereby held responsible for the death of Lydia Umali on March 24, 1991, and therefore guilty under Art. 365 of the Revised Penal Code, and she is hereby se ntenced to suffer the penalty of 2 months and 1 day imprisonment of arresto mayo r with costs."[6] The petitioner appealed her conviction to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) which a ffirmed in toto the decision of the MTCC[7] prompting the petitioner to file a p etition for review with the Court of Appeals but to no avail. Hence this petitio n for review on certiorari assailing the decision promulgated by the Court of Ap peals on October 24, 1995 affirming petitioner's conviction with modification th at she is further directed to pay the heirs of Lydia Umali P50,000.00 as indemni ty for her death.[8]

head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the San Pablo District Hospital. arising from an alleged medical malpractice. Unfortunately. Some thirty minut es after. Lydia was given the fresh supply of oxygen as soon as it arrived.[17] The transfer to the San Pablo City District Hospital was without the prior consent of Rowena no r of the other relatives present who found out about the intended transfer only when an ambulance arrived to take Lydia to the San Pablo District Hospital. 1991 as the latter was to be operated on th e next day at 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon.[11] Rowena and her mother slept in th e clinic on the evening of March 22. After the lapse of a few hours. However. Rowena Umali De Ocampo. her sister and two aunts wai ted outside the operating room while Lydia underwent operation. Thereafter.[19] The attending physicians summoned Dr. Lydia wa s already in shock and possibly dead as her blood pressure was already 0/0. Lydia then informed Rowena that the petitioner told her that she must be operated on as scheduled. she was wheeled into th e operating room and the petitioner and Dr. 1991.[20] While petitioner was closing the abdominal wal . namely her husband. The petitioner called Lydia into her office and the two had a conversation. Lydia's uns table condition necessitated her transfer to the San Pablo District Hospital so she could be connected to a respirator and further examined. Rowe na and her other relatives then boarded a tricycle and followed the ambulance. Angeles arrived. Ercillo came out again this time to ask them to buy blood for Lydia.[16] But at around 10:00 o'clo ck P.[1 8] Upon Lydia's arrival at the San Pablo District Hospital.[15] Rowena and her other relatives. Laguna. she notice d that the clinic was untidy and the window and the floor were very dusty prompt ing her to ask the attendant for a rag to wipe the window and the floor with. Bartolome Angeles. a person arrive d to donate blood which was later transfused to Lydia. San Pablo City. On March 22. First the antecedent facts. About one hour had pass ed when Dr. Rowena then noticed her m other.In substance.[14] The following day. Rowena tried to persuade her mother not to proceed with the operation. While they were waiting. Angeles then informed petitioner and Dr. Ercillo went out of the operating room and instructed them to buy t agamet ampules which Rowena's sister immediately bought. Apparently the ox ygen supply had run out and Rowena's husband together with the driver of the acc used had to go to the San Pablo District Hospital to get oxygen. Ercillo that there was nothing he could do to help save the patient. 1991. Dr.M. before her mother was wheeled into the operating room. The operating staff then went inside the petitioner's clinic to take their snacks. prosecution witness. gasping for breath. They bought type "A" blood from the St. Dr. who was attached to an oxygen tank. th e petitioner informed them that the operation was finished. They arrived at the said hospital at around 4:30 i n the afternoon of the same day. when Dr. she went into shock and her blood pressure dropped to 60/50. Lydia was brought out of the operating room in a stretcher and the pet itioner asked Rowena and the other relatives to buy additional blood for Lydia. accompanied her mother to the Perpetual Help Clinic and General Hospital situated in Balagtas St reet. Lydia was examined by the petitioner who found a "myoma"[10] in her uterus.[12] According to Rowena. Gerald Blood Bank and the same was brou ght by the attendant into the operating room.[13 ] Because of the untidy state of the clinic. they were not able to comply with petitioner's order as there was no more type "A" blood available in the blood bank.[9] Prior to March 22. Rowena asked the petitioner if the operation c ould be postponed. the petition brought before this Court raises the issue of whether or not petitioner's conviction of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. Ercillo re-operated on her because t here was blood oozing from the abdominal incision. is supported by the evid ence on record. and scheduled her for a hysterectomy operation on March 23. 1991.

negligence and lack of foresight and skill of a ppellant (herein petitioner) in handling the subject patient before and after th e operation. the clinic was untidy. and no sufficient oxygen supply. there was lack of provision like blood and oxygen to prepare for any contingency that might happen during the operation. they were again ask ed to procure more type "A" blood. that after the surgery. Ninevetch Cruz because o f loss of blood during the operation of the deceased for evident unpreparedness and for lack of skill. There was no showing that before the operatio n. the Court of Appeals echoed similar observations."[23] The RTC reiterated the abovementioned findings of the MTCC and upheld the latter 's declaration of "incompetency. Her death certificate states "shock" as the i mmediate cause of death and "Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)" as th e antecedent cause. The court also noticed in Exh. on March 24. it nevertheless shows the absence of due care and supervision over her subordinate employees.[21] Thus. Anyway. but was el ective or pre-scheduled. proper ly typed and cross-matched. the MTCC found the following circumstances as suff icient basis to conclude that she was indeed negligent in the performance of the operation: "x x x. that after an hour. the anaesthesiologist. thus: "x x x. The mann er and the fact that the patient was brought to the San Pablo District Hospital for reoperation indicates that there was something wrong in the manner in which Dra. no prepared blood. they were also asked to buy type "A" blood for the patient. which was not emergency in nature. accused Dr. the surgeon should answer for such negligence. Cruz to proceed with the surgery. This could only give rise to the presumption that she has nothing good to testify on her d efense. Likewise undisputed is the prosecution's version indicating the following facts: that the accused asked the patient's relatives to buy Tagamet capsules while th e operation was already in progress. Did this unsanitary condition p ermeate the operating room? Were the surgical instruments properly sterilized? C ould the conditions in the OR have contributed to the infection of the patient? Only the petitioner could answer these.[22] In convicting the petitioner. Cruz had conducted a cardio pulmonary clearance or any typing of the blood of the patient. While we may grant that the untidiness and filthiness of the clinic may not by itself indicate negligence. The court finds that Lydia Umali died because of the negligence and carelessness of the surgeon Dra. the alleged "unverified statement of the prosecution witness" re mains unchallenged and unrebutted. The patient (sic) chart which is a public document was not presented be cause it is only there that we could determine the condition of the patient befo re the surgery. the patient died. . and that the son-in-law o f the patient. 1991. All these conclusive ly show that the petitioner had not prepared for any unforeseen circumstances be fore going into the first surgery. that the oxygen given to the patient was empty.l. "F-1" that the sister of the dece ased wished to postpone the operation but the patient was prevailed upon by Dra. It was (sic) said in medical parlance that the "abdome n of the person is a temple of surprises" because you do not know the whole thin g the moment it was open (sic) and surgeon must be prepared for any eventuality thereof. Lydia Umali was pronounced dead. With respect to Dra. at 3:00 o'clock in the morning ."[24] And likewise affirming the petitioner's conviction. but such was not anymore available from the s ource. the reason why the patient was brought for operation at t he San Pablo City District Hospital. there is no evidence to indicate that she should be held jointly liable with Dra. she had no ready antibiotics. had to rush to the San Pablo City District Hospital to get the much-needed oxygen. Lina Ercillo. Cruz conducted the operation. As such. together with a driver of the petitioner. Cruz wh o actually did the operation. but she opted not to testify.

the failure to subject the patient to a cardio-pulmonary test prior to the operation. holds differently and finds the foregoing circumstances ins ufficient to sustain a judgment of conviction against the petitioner for the cri me of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. she did not prepare a medical chart with ins tructions for the patient's care. the lack of provisions such as blood. this conclusion is still best arrived at not through the educated surmises nor conjectures of laymen. the bleeding paramet ers of the patient. The elements of reckless imprud ence are: (1) that the offender does or fails to do an act. The prosecution' s expert witnesses in the persons of Dr. neither did she get the family's consent to the operation. proof thereof should hav e been offered. including judges. Was the patient giv en any cardio-pulmonary clearance. et. He therefore has a duty to use at least the same level of care that any other reaso nably competent doctor would use to treat a condition under the same circumstanc es. such as bleeding time and clotting time? There is no showing that these were done. Pacasio. For whether a physician . Moreover. Indeed.[29] Immediately apparent from a review of the records of this case is the absence of any expert testimony on the matter of the standard of care employed by other ph ysicians of good standing in the conduct of similar operations. even as the family wanted the postponement to April 6. a nd other circumstances regarding persons. it has been recognize d that expert testimony is usually necessary to support the conclusion as to cau sation. or at least a clearance by an internist.Moreover. time and place. b ut by the unquestionable knowledge of expert witnesses. If she did all these. and (5) that there is i nexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the offender. (4) th at material damage results from the reckless imprudence. Did the pe titioner determine as part of the pre-operative evaluation. these are overwhelming evidence of re cklessness and imprudence. however. 199 1. Jr. But there is none. (2) that the doing o r the failure to do that act is voluntary. taking into considera tion his employment or occupation. al. All three courts below bewail the inadequacy of the facilities of the clinic and its untidiness. Whether or not a physician has committed an "inexcusable lack of precaution" in the treatment of his patient is to be determined according to the standard of ca re observed by other members of the profession in good standing under similar ci rcumstances bearing in mind the advanced state of the profession at the time of treatment or the present state of medical science.. care and skill in the treatment of his patients. and eve n the subsequent transfer of Lydia to the San Pablo Hospital and the reoperation performed on her by the petitioner. Obviously.[26] In the recent case of Leo nila Garcia-Rueda v. of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) only testified as to the pos sible cause of death but did not venture to illuminate the court on the matter o f the standard of care that petitioner should have exercised. having the needed training and skill possessed by physicians and surgeons practicing in the same field. physical condition."[25] This court. the omission of any form of blood typing before transfusion. (3) that it be without malice. whic h are standard requirements before a patient is subjected to surgery. Floresto Arizala and Dr.[27] this Court stated that in accepting a case. But while it may be true that the circumsta nces pointed out by the courts below seemed beyond cavil to constitute reckless imprudence on the part of the surgeon. there are a lot of questions that keep nagging Us. oxygen. he will employ such training. It is in this aspect of medical malpractice that expert testimony is essenti al to establish not only the standard of care of the profession but also that th e physician's conduct in the treatment and care falls below such standard. degree of intelligence. inasmuch as the causes of the injuries involved in malpractice actions a re determinable only in the light of scientific knowledge. The petitioner just appears to have been in a hurry to p erform the operation. she did not prepare the patient. a doctor in effect represents that.[28] F urther. and certain medic ines. Nieto Salvador . Wilfred L.

as in the i nstant case.[34] where the attending physician was abso lved of liability for the death of the complainant's wife and newborn baby. even without ex pert testimony. sir. In litigations involving medical negligence.or surgeon has exercised the requisite degree of skill and care in the treatment of his patient is. 91-09. unless the contrary is sufficiently established.. "A-1-b"? A. however.[31] Expert testimony should have been offered to prove that the circumstances cited by the courts be low are constitutive of conduct falling below the standard of care employed by o ther physicians in good standing when performing the same operation. 'negligence. there is an inevitable presumption that in proper cases he takes th e necessary precaution and employs the best of his knowledge and skill in attend ing to his clients. and without whi ch the result would not have occurred. this court held that: "In order that there may be a recovery for an injury. no cogent proof exists that any of these circumstances caus ed petitioner's death. sir. Arizala who conducted an autopsy on the body of the deceased summarized his findings as follows: "Atty.. St Luke's Hospital. in natural and continuous sequence. which. It must be remembered that when the qualifications of a physician are admitted. there must be proof of breach of duty on the part of the surgeon as well as a ca sual connection of such breach and the resulting death of his patient. whose signature is that? A.[30] The deference of courts to the expert opinion of qualified physicians stems from its realization that the latter possess unusual technical skills which laymen i n most instances are incapable of intelligently evaluating. Thus. the negligence must be the proximate cause of the injury. the time and place and everything after the post mortem findings.[33] In Ch an Lugay v. There appears here a signature above the typewritten name Floresto Arizala. Inc.[32] This pr esumption is rebuttable by expert opinion which is so sadly lacking in the case at bench. it must be shown that the 'injury for which recovery is sought must be the legitimate consequence of the wrong done. Q.' And 'the proximat e cause of an injury is that cause. a matter of expert opinion.'''[35] (Underscoring supplied. . and the subsequent transfer of Lydia to the San Pablo Hospital and the reoperation performed on her by the petitioner do indicate. Cachero: Q.) Dr. no matter in what it consists. "A-1b". unbroken by intervening efficient caus es. the absence of the fourth element of reckless impru dence: that the injury to the person or property was a consequence of the reckle ss imprudence. That is my signature. Even granting arguendo that the inadequacy of the facilities and untidiness of t he clinic. produces the injury. the lack of provisions. cannot create a right of action unless it is the proximate cause of the injury complained of. F or. You mentioned about your Autopsy Report which has been marked as Exh. Jr. in the generality of cases. u nbroken by any efficient intervening cause. Do you affirm the truth of all the contents of Exh. Only as to the autopsy report no. the plaintiff has the burden of est ablishing appellant's negligence and for a reasonable conclusion of negligence. that petitioner was recklessly imprudent in the exercise of her duties as a surgeon. the connection between the negligence and the injury must be a direct and natural sequence of events.' In other words. the failure to conduct pre-operation tests on the patient.

5 x 5. How about the intestines and mesenteries are place (sic) with blood clots n oted between the mesenteric folds. sir. pale. sir. How about the ovaries and adnexal structures? They are missing. And there were likewise sign of surgical sutures? Yes. A. Q. You mentioned on your "Post Mortem Findings" about surgical incision.c. will you please explain that on (sic) your own language or in ordinary A. And the last paragraph of the postmortem findings which I read: Uterus. There was a uterus which was not attached to the adnexal structures namely ovaries which were not present and also sign of previous surgical operation and there were (sic) clotted blood. A-1-B. left paracolic gutter 200 c. can you t . A. 50 c. sir. will you please explain on (sic) this? A. pea r-shaped and pale measuring 7. Intestines and mesenteries are pale with blood clots noted between the mesentric folds. sir. right paracolic gutter. with some surface nodulation of the fundic area posteriorly. ordinarily blood is found inside the blood vessel.s. midline. Q. Hemoperitonium: 300 s. will you please expl ain that in your own language? A. In the peritoneal cavity. By the nature of the postmortem findings indicated in Exh.. You mean to say there are no ovaries? During that time there are no ovaries. A.'. Q.. they are mostly perritonial blood And what could have caused this blood? .0 cm. Blood were (sic) outside as a result of the injuries which destroyed the integrity of the vessel allowing blood to sip (sic) out. Cut-section shows diffusely pale myometrium with ar eas of streak induration. sir. 14:0 cm.. anterior abdominal area. Q. Q. A. The ovaries and adnexal structures are missing with th e raw surfaces patched with clotted blood.c. There was incision wound (sic) the area just below the navel. Q.Q. sir. 100 c. Surgical sutures were noted on the op erative site. Other visceral organs. Q.. Well.5 x 5.. right pelvic gutter stomach empty. mesentric area.c. infraumbilical area.

or may be (sic) he died after the operation. Q. Many. She died most probably before the actual complete blood loss. sir. Cachero: Q. The cause of death is: Gross findings are compatible with hemorr hagic shock. Atty. sir. sir. Will you explain to us the meaning of hemorrhagic compatible? A. Without knowledge of the autopsy findings it would be difficult for me to determine the cause of death. Q. What could have the effect of that loss of blood? Unattended hemorrhage. And were you able to determine the cause of death by virtue of the examinat ion of the specimen submitted by Dr. Another may be a blood ve ssel may be cut while on operation and this cause (sic) bleeding. sir. What could have caused the death of the victim? A.ell the court the cause of death? A. sir. It means that a person died of blood loss. or may be set in the course of the operation. Have you examined the post mortem of Dr. Yes. sir.[36] (Underscoring supplied. Dr. Q. Q. This pathologic examination are (sic) compatible with the person who died. Nieto Salvador: "Q. hemorrhage or hemorrhagic shock during surgery may be caused by severa l different factors. Yes. Salvador's elaboration on the matter: . as likewise testified to by the expert witnesses in op en court. However. Q.) The testimonies of both doctors establish hemorrhage or hemorrhagic shock as the cause of death. sir.) The foregoing was corroborated by Dr. sir. Especially so doctor when there was no blood replacement? Yes. Based on my pathology findings. Arizala? A. Can you tell the us what could have caused this hemorrhagic shock? Well hemorrhagic shock is the result of blood loss. A patient who have undergone surgery. Court: Is it possible doctor that the loss of the blood was due on (sic) operat ion? A. and by virtue of the autopsy report in connection with your path ology report. Thus. A. Q. Of course there are other cause (sic). sir. What could have caused this loss of blood? A."[37] (Underscoring supplied. Arizala? A. A. Meaning a person died of non-re placement of blood and so the victim before she died there was shock of diminish of blood of the circulation. A.

Bu C. Definitely."[39] (Underscoring supplied. Doctor even a patient after an operations (sic) would suffer hemorrage what would be the possible causes of such hemorrage (sic)? A. In general sir. A. If the person who performed an autopsy does not find any untight (sic) clot (sic) blood vessel or any suture that become (sic) loose the cause of the bleed ing could not be attributed to the fault of the subject? A. Pascual: Q. Defense witness. among the causes of hemorrhage that you mentioned you said that it could be at the moment of operation when one losses (sic) control of the presenc e.) x x x According to both doctors. sir. A. Castro also gave the following expert opinion: "Q. the bleeding here is not related to any cutting o r operation that I (sic) have done. (3) the subsequent loosening of the tie or suture applied to a cut blood vessel. sir. Q."[38] (Underscoring supplied). Not related to this one."Atty. sir. which cannot be prevented by anyone. it will hap pen to anyone. the cutting or the operations do ne in the body? A. is that correct? A. Q. anytime and to any persons (sic). Yes. x x x x x x Q. and (4) and a clotting defect . Q. sir. May be (sic). (2) al lowing a cut blood vessel to get out of control. And you also mentioned that it may be possible also to some clotting defect . COURT: What do you think of the cause of the bleeding. it is (sic) becomes loos e if proven. the possible causes of hemorrhage during an operation are: (1) the failure of the surgeon to tie or suture a cut blood vessel. Among those would be what we call Intravascular Coagulation and this is th e reason for the bleeding. Or even if the vessel were ligated the knot may have slipped later on? Yes. sir. Or there is a failure to ligate a vessel of considerable size? Yes. sir. Doctor. is that correct? During the operation there is lost (sic) of control of the c ut vessel? A. Aside from the DIC what could another causes (sic) that could be the cause for the hemorrhage or bleeding in a patient by an operations (sic)? A. Q. Dr. if there was an operations (sic) and it is possible that t he ligature in the suture was (sic) become (sic) loose.

major hemorrhage occurs. is that correct? A: Well. Arizala on the body of Lydia did not reveal any untied or unsutured cut blood vessel nor was there any indication that the tie or suture of a cut bl ood vessel had become loose thereby causing the hemorrhage. Q: We will explain that later on. sir. Q. DIC which i s a clotting defect creates a serious bleeding tendency and when massive DIC occ urs as a complication of surgery leaving raw surface."[41] On the other hand. doc tor. Can you even predict if it really happen (sic)? Possible.[4 2] And as testified to by defense witness. Doctor. the findings of all three doctors do not preclude the probabi lity that DIC caused the hemorrhage and consequently. sir.[40] Hence the follow ing pertinent portion of Dr. And you mentioned that it cannot be prevented? Yes. Bu C. Arizala's testimony: "Q: Doctor. Doctor you said that you went through the record of the deceased Lydia Umali looking for the chart. Now. Well. it will happen to anyone. A. Q. the post mortem findin gs on the histophanic (sic) examination based on your examination of record. Yes. under the circumstance one of the possibility as you mentioned in (sic ) DIC? A. therefore.known as DIC. It is significant to state at this juncture that the autopsy condu cted by Dr. I did reserve because of the condition of the patient. sir. you would not know whether any of the cut structures were not sutured or tied neither were you able to determine whether any loose s uture was found in the peritoneal cavity? A: I could not recall any loose sutured (sic). Are there any specific findings of autopsy that will tell you whether this patient suffered among such things as DIC? A. Now. Lydia's death. Did you recall if the cut structures were ti ed by first suturing it and then tying a knot or the tie was merely placed aroun d the cut structure and tied? A: I cannot recall."[43] He testified fu rther: "Q. Dr. Q: So. in examining these structures did you know whether these were sutur ed ligature or plain ligature A: Ligature. Q. anytime. Q: As a matter of fact. I bothered enough to know that they were sutured. sir. sir. the operated (sic) records. you cannot recall because you did not even bothered (s ic) to examine. hemorrhage due to D IC "cannot be prevented. can you more or less says (sic) what part are (sic) concerned could have be en the caused (sic) of death of this Lydia Umali? . sir. Castro. A. Q. sir.

MALVEDA: We will moved (sic) to strike out the (sic) based on finding they just read the chart as well as the other record.00) as civil liability.A. there is no fault on the part of the surgeon. No. As far as the medical record is concern (sic) the caused (sic) of death is dessimulated (sic) Intra Vascular Coagulation or the DIC which resulted to hemo rrhage or bleedings. petitioner DR. The probability that Lydia's death was caused by DIC was unrebutted durin g trial and has engendered in the mind of this Court a reasonable doubt as to th e petitioner's guilt. NINEVETCH CRUZ is hereby ACQUITTE D of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide but is ordered to pa y the heirs of the deceased Lydia Umali the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50. While we condole with the family of Lydia Umali. as attested to by an expert witness. COURT: He is only reading the record. A. ATTY.00) as moral da . PASCUAL: Yes. cannot be attributed to the petitioner's fault or negli gence. ATTY. her acquittal of the crime of reckless imprudence re sulting in homicide. there was no finding made. our hands are bound by the dictates of justice and fair dealing which hold inviolable the right of an accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonabl e doubt. for while a conviction of a crime requires proof beyond reas onable doubt. PASCUAL: Precisely based on this examination. sir. Thus. 000. this Court finds the petitioner civilly liable for the de ath of Lydia Umali. MALVEDA: Not finding. WHEREFORE. Certainly. For insufficiency of evidence this Court was not able to render a sentence of convi ction but it is not blind to the reckless and imprudent manner in which the peti tioner carried out her duties. A precious life has been lost and the circumstanc es leading thereto exacerbated the grief of those left behind. The heirs of the deceased continue to feel the loss of their mother up to the present time[46] an d this Court is aware that no amount of compassion and commiseration nor words o f bereavement can suffice to assuage the sorrow felt for the loss of a loved one . only a preponderance of evidence is required to establish civil li ability. Q. Nevertheless. ATTY. sir." [44] This court has no recourse but to rely on the expert testimonies rendered by bot h prosecution and defense witnesses that substantiate rather than contradict pet itioner's allegation that the cause of Lydia's death was DIC which. sir. sir. Doctor based on your findings then there is knowing (sic) the doctor would say whether the doctor her (sic) has been (sic) fault? ATTY.[45] The petitioner is a doctor in whose hands a patient puts his life and limb. ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100. premises considered. the award of moral and exemplary damages in favor of the heirs of L ydia Umali are proper in the instant case.000.

. (Chairman). MEDICINE and LAW. JJ. shall cause some wrong which. et.. A fine not exceeding two hundred pesos and censure shall be imposed upon any per son who. When. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. 1997. SO ORDERED. No. p. by imprudence or negligence and with violation of the Automobile Law .000. is obliged to pay for the damage done. 365. shall commit an act which wo uld otherwise constitute a grave felony. 1961 in Tole ntino.. if it would have constituted a less seriou s felony. .00) as exemplary damages. 1980. shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prisio n correccional in its medium period. in which case the defendant shall be pu nished by prision correccional in its medium and the maximum periods. [3] ART. would constitute a grave f elony. and Panganiban. Let the copy of this decision be furnished to the Professional Regulation Commis sion (PRC) for appropriate action. would have constituted a light felony. the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum and medium periods shall be i mposed. C. When the penalty provided for the offense is equal to or lower than those p rovided in the first two paragraphs of this article. the penalty. 2176. [2] Leonila Garcia-Rueda vs. Any person who. concur. Pascasio. i n the period which they may deem proper to apply.J. the death of a person shall be caused. When the execution of the act covered by this article shall have only resulted i n damage to the property of another. [4] Art. 1 citing Louis Nizer. by simple imprudence or negligence. Wilfred L. if do ne maliciously. New York: Double Day & Co. [1] "THE PHYSICIAN'S LIABILITY AND THE LAW OF NEGLIGENCE" by Constantino Nuñez. Proceedings of the Symposium on Current Issues Com mon to Medicine and Law U. Romero. by simple imprudence or negligence. Jr.P. G. Imprudence and Negligence. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. there being fault or negligence. without regard to the rules prescribed in article sixty-four. shall suffer the penalty of arresto may or in its medium and maximum periods. but which shall in no case be less than twenty-five pesos. in which case the courts sh all impose the penalty next lower in degree than that which should be imposed. Law Center.. The provisions contained in this article shall not be applicable: 1. and FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50. Narvasa. al. the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period shall be imposed. Melo. In the imposition of this penalties. had it been intentional. Such fault or negl igence. Sept ember 5. My Life in Court. 2. shall commit any act which. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another. if it would have constituted a less grave f elony.. Any person who. 118141.R. by reckless imprudence. if it would have constituted a light felony. the offender shall be punished by a fine ra nging from an amount equal to the value of said damages to three times such valu e. on leave. of arresto men or in its maximum period shall be imposed.mages. the court shall exercise their sound discre tion.

doing or failin g to do an act from which material damage results by reason of inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person performing or failing to perform such ac t. physical condition and other circumstances regarding persons. The penalty next higher in degree to those provided for in this article shall be imposed upon the offender who fails to lend on the spot to the injured parties such help as may be in his hands to give. taking into consideration his employment or occupation.Reckless imprudence consists in voluntarily. but without malice. degree of intelligenc e. . Simple imprudence consists in the lack of precaution displayed in those cases in which the damage impending to be caused is not immediate nor the danger clearly manifest. time and place.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful