This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Legal Ethics in Family Law
Apordo, Mark Christian B. Enalpe, Rodolfo Jr. Guasque, Jacqueline Lagman, Ivy Xenia Mabbun, Ma. Antonette
Atty. Victor Eleazar
3 December 2010
she does not want to die.PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law LEGAL ETHICS IN FAMILY LAW I. One day. Soriano : 30 years : Female SYMPTOMS: Difficulty of breathing Pounding of heart Easily tired without doing anything PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: Intrauterine pregnancy 9 4/7 weeks age of gestation by last menstrual period * 10 3/7 by first ultrasound * currently not in labor G1PO BP 130/90 Cardiac rate 110 (normal 60-100) Respiratory rate 30 (normal 16-20) Head & neck: * (+) neck vein engorgement * jugular venous pressure 10 cm H20 Chest & lungs: * crackles all lung fields * enlargement of the left atrium * (+) grade 3/6 murmur of the heart. Wendy was scared. Manuel wanted to have a baby for so long that on the day Wendy received news that she was pregnant. In the five years that they were married. As explained by the doctors. her heart has to work double time to be able to circulate blood in her system. The Medical Certificate issued to Wendy is found hereunder: MEDICAL CERTIFICATE Date: January 21. The doctors diagnosed her as having mitral valve stenosis. she started having difficulty breath ing and was easily fatigued. She was then 10 weeks pregnant. She contemplates the possibility of abortion. secondary to acquired valvular heart disease. their close friend who was the high school buddy of Manuel and who happened to be a lawyer. (Signed) DR. Her condition was one of functional class III. parasternal border and at the apex. Manuel was ecstatic. and women with functional class III to IV heart conditions are strongly advised against pregnancy because of high maternal mortality rate. they tried to have a baby but have not been successful. a congestion of the heart due to a valve defect. poor follow up Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (difficulty of breathing before going to sleep) Easy fatigability. systolic Extremities: edema. BETTINA COLORO. with radiation to anterior axillary line. They are both professionals. grade 3. relieved by 3-4 pillows Bipedal edema (swelling of feet) FINAL DIAGNOSIS: Mitral valve stenotic: congestive heart failure functional class II. pitting MEDICAL HISTORY: Rheumatic fever at age 15. 2 . MD Attending Physician License Number: 0987-35593 The doctors say that the chances of Wendy carrying the baby to term are slim because her heart would not be able to take it. with stable jobs. FACTS: Manuel and Wendy were married in 1992. As Wendy‘s pregnancy progressed. Wendy and Manuel sought the advice of Louis. 1997 Name of Patient Age Sex : Wendy G. secondary to rheumatic heart disease. she was rushed to the hospital because she could not breathe. best heard at the left 5 th intercostal space.
41-42 You have known the couple since your high school days.C. 6711. GIVES A LEGAL OPINION THAT ABORTION IS CRIMINAL AND DOES NOT ALLOW FOR ANY EXCEPTION. 526 SCRA 241. A. 15. ADVISES WENDY TO HAVE AN ABORTION. 15. June 10. Madianda. ii. IF LOUIS. IF LOUIS ACTS INSTINCTIVELY BASED ON HIS RELIGIOUS CONVICTION. v. Magulta. If Louis were to answer the query of Wendy. 1. Code of Professional Responsibility. 249 SCRA 244. Atty. AC No. 2002. Article II Revised Penal Code. HE THEN ASKS. MANUEL TOLD LOUIS THAT THEY ARE THINKING OF HAVING THE CHILD ABORTED.07 of the CPR. Articles 256-259 Civil Code. “WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS? IS THIS LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE?” A common dilemma is determining if the advice sought is one solicited from a friend who happens to be a lawyer making it more of a ―friendly‖ advice or was it asked from you because you are a lawyer who happens to be a friend also making it more of a ―lawyerly‖ advice. Judge Veneracion.‖ Comment on this proposition. C. IN ADDITION TO THE ABORTION ISSUE. a veritable lawyer-client relationship evolved between the two. No. PROBLEMS: A.01. D. 99-634. Consider also the case of Burbe v. CONDOM. Canons 1. Bearing in mind this caveat. AFTER EXPLAINING WENDY’S MEDICAL CONDITION. iv. should a lawyer qualify his advice that it is being made as a friend or as a lawyer? Note that Wendy could have asked a priest or a second opinion from another doctor but she chose to ask Louis who is a lawyer.PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law II. 2007. Lawyers tend to blurt out off -thecuff opinions without considering the possible implications of their giving an advice to a friend and whether that act establishes a lawyer-client relationship. Republican Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona voted against the bill and remarked: ―You can‘t legislate morality. IF LOUIS ACTS INSTINCTIVELY BASED ON HIS RELIGIOUS CONVICTION. AS THE CHURCH PUTS IT. would a lawyer-client relationship be established? Consider the case of Hadjula v. 15. DOES HE VIOLATE ANY LAW OR ETHICAL PRINCIPLE? CONSIDER ALSO THE PENDING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL BEFORE CONGRESS. 15. GIVES A LEGAL OPINION THAT TUBAL LIGATION IS A FORM OF ABORTION AND THEREFORE CRIMINAL AND DOES NOT ALLOW FOR ANY EXCEPTION. where the Supreme Court held that a lawyerclient relationship was established from the very first moment client asked the lawyer for legal advice regarding the former's business. AS A FAMILY FRIEND. 9.05 and 15.07 of the CPR.05 and 15. E. Read the case of People v. Section 12. INJECTIBLES. WENDY CONSIDERS UNDERGOING A TUBAL LIGATION. LIGATION. Art.08 and 17 1987 Constitution. B. SHE AGAIN ASKS LOUIS IF THIS IS LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was put to vote in the US Senate. July 3. IN ARGUING FOR OR AGAINST THE RH BILL. where the Supreme Court held that from the moment the client approached a receptive lawyer to seek legal advice. WOULD ABORTION BE JUSTIFIED IF THERE WAS A SERIOUS RISK TO THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER? Consider Canons 15. WOULD HE BE BREAKING HIS OATH AS A LAWYER? Consider the following: i. Atty. DOES HE VIOLATE ANY LAW OR ETHICAL PRINCIPLE? Consider Canons 1. IUD. iii. 383 SCRA 276. Comment on the action of some lawyers who because of their strong religious conviction would not handle cases of declaration of nullity of marriage due to psychological incapacity because of the policy of the Church against divorce. AND VASECTOMY – OR IS THE ISSUE. DO YOU THINK YOU CAN LIMIT THE DISCUSSION ON PURELY LEGAL ISSUES – WHETHER MODERN METHODS OF FAMILY PLANNING SHOULD INCLUDE METHODS TO PREVENT PREGNANCY SUCH AS THE PILL. INEXTRICABLY INTERTWINED WITH MORAL ISSUES? 3 .
If this crime be committed by the parents of the pregnant woman or either of them. — The penalties provided in article 256 shall be imposed in its maximum period. to wit: ―ARTICLE 256. abortion is considered illegal. MANUEL TOLD LOUIS THAT THEY ARE THINKING OF HAVING THE CHILD ABORTED. Any woman who shall commit this offense to conceal her dishonor. he shall act without the consent of the woman. The penalty of prisión correccional in its medium and maximum periods. ARTICLE 257. In addition. shall suffer the penalty of prisión correccional in its minimum and medium periods. “WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS? IS THIS LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE?” The question raises the following considerations vis-a vis the facts presented: Friendly advice versus lawyerly advice If Louis were to answer the query of Wendy. COMMENTS: A. ARTICLE 259. abortion may be justified. shall cause an abortion or assist in causing the same. More so. without using violence. — The penalty of prisión correccional in its medium and maximum periods shall be imposed upon a woman who shall practice an abortion upon herself or shall consent that any other person should do so. if the woman shall have consented. Articles 256.‖ (emphasis supplied) Applying the foregoing in the case of Wendy. — Any person who shall intentionally cause an abortion shall suffer: 1. but unintentionally. without the proper prescription from a physician. HE THEN ASKS. 257. Any pharmacist who. Intentional Abortion. taking advantage of their scientific knowledge or skill. shall dispense any abortive shall suffer arresto mayor and a fine not exceeding 1. 2.000 pesos. — The penalty of prisión correccional in its minimum and medium period shall be imposed upon any person who shall cause an abortion by violence. there is still no existing Supreme Court decision relative to this issue (see related discussion below).PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law III. there is no qualification provided that in case the woman's life is endangered during her pregnancy. the offenders shall suffer the penalty of prisión correccional in its medium and maximum periods. Section 12 of the 1987 of the Constitution provides that the State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. the Revised Penal Code (RPC). 4 . respectively. upon any physician or midwife who. would a lawyer-client relationship be established? Should a lawyer qualify his advice that it is being made as a friend or as a lawyer? In the Philippines. The penalty of reclusión temporal. However. 3. Nonetheless. 258 and 259. Unintentional Abortion. abortion may be legally performed to save the pregnant woman‘s life. Abortion Practiced by a Physician or Midwife and Dispensing of Abortives. no express provision which authorizes abortion in order to save the woman's life. Article II. AFTER EXPLAINING WENDY’S MEDICAL CONDITION. The penalty of prisión mayor if. ARTICLE 258. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. Abortion Practiced by the Woman Herself or by Her Parents. it may be arguable that under the principles of necessity as set forth in Article 11(4) of the RPC. there is in fact. penalizes abortion. if he shall use any violence upon the person of the pregnant woman. and they act with the consent of said woman for the purpose of concealing her dishonor. particularly.
too. Atty. This is on the basis that Manuel primarily desires to have a legal advice on Wendy‘s situation and Louis. For this.000. However.‖ This case is about a sale transaction between the complainant. It is worth noting however. that in the following cases the court ruled that there is no attorney-client relationship when the relationship was based on a personal transaction: In Virgo vs. he paid complainant P340. the respondent. and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces with the consultation. a birth certificate and a baptismal certificate. Ruling in favor of the complainant. in respect to business affairs or troubles of any kind. Oliver Amorin (i. we believe that this cannot be a solid excuse to claim that an attorney-client relationship has not existed because normally. Of little moment. 7861. Manuel and Wendy. 2009. she disclosed personal secrets and produced copies of a marriage contract. Such relationship imposes upon the lawyer certain restrictions circumscribed by the ethics of the profession. It was alleged in this case that the complainant was the kumpadre of a law partner of the respondent... consents to the consultation by providing his advice.PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law Considering the intricacy of the said issue vis-à-vis the personal relationship of the parties involved. 2007. January 30. 2002. Complainant claimed that. is the fact that no formal professional engagement follows the consultation. the court ruled that ―no attorney-client relationship exists xxx. 5280. As regards the issue on whether a lawyer should qualify his advice (i. Atty. a lawyer-client relationship exists notwithstanding the close personal relationship between the lawyer and the complainant or the nonpayment of the former's fees. then the professional employment is established.526 SCRA 241. even if a lawyer qualifies his advice as a friendly advice. The complainant alleged that she and respondent. June 10. March 30. in the course of their conversation which was supposed to be kept confidential. Atty. it cannot be eliminated that the same still came from a lawyer. Amorin. In tackling the issue of attorney-client relationship. Atty. Atty. Although it was established in the case that Atty. Atty. 6711.9 hectare-property.C. she approached respondent for some legal advice. Atty. Wilhelma Virgo and respondent. used to be friends as they both worked at the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) where the respondent was the Chief Legal Officer while she was the Chief Nurse of the Medical.e. in this case. sale of complainant‘s house to respondent). Amorin provided the free legal services and consultations to the complainant. it is relevant to determine whether there would already be an attorney-client relationship that would be established the moment Louis gives an advice. consults a lawyer with a view to obtaining professional advice or assistance. for the latter's act of disclosing personal secrets and confidential information she revealed in the course of seeking respondent's legal advice. No. the moment the former answers the query Manuel. a veritable lawyer-client relationship evolved between the two. In view of the above-mentioned cases. at the end of the day. it appears that a lawyer-client relationship will be established between the Louis and the spouses.‖ (emphasis supplied) Another case is Burbe vs.C. 383 SCRA 276. AC No.‖ (emphasis supplied). Respondent.e. sometime in 1998. the complainant. Magulta. A. 99-634.C. Further. only to be informed later by the respondent that she (respondent) would refer the matter to a lawyer friend. Gonzales. Luisa Hadjula. the respondent offered his 5 . the Court ruled that ―the moment complainant approached the then receptive respondent to seek legal advice. Complainant further alleged that. Dental and Nursing Services. July 3. and that respondent dispensed legal advice to complainant as a personal favor to the kumpadre. Roceles Madianda.‖ Further it provides that ―the fact that one is. Nor will it make any difference that no contract whatsoever was executed by the parties to memorialize the relationship. seeks the suspension and/or disbarment of respondent. a person seeks an advice from a lawyer-friend in view of obtaining a straightforward answer based on the latter‘s knowledge of the law. A. No. A. Madianda. it turned out that the complainant misplaced the certificate of title. such as when the relationship stemmed from a personal transaction xxx rather than the practice of law of respondent or when the legal acts done were only incidental to their personal transaction. Atty. the court ruled that ―if a person. No. Fermin Gonzales offered to redeem the complainant‘s 4. 2004. in refuting the allegations.00 and demanded the delivery of the certificate of title of the property. on the other hand. Likewise. it is being made as a friend). the court ruled that said legal services were only incidental to the business relationship. Taking the case of Hadjula vs. In Uy vs. Roseles Madianda. denied giving legal advice to the complainant and dismissed any suggestion about the existence of a lawyer-client relationship between them on the basis that the complainant was never her client and that she never entertained legal queries or consultation regarding personal matters. Wanting to protect his interest over the property coupled with his desire to get hold of said certificate the earliest possible time. not inclined to handle the client's case is hardly of consequence.
WOULD HE BE BREAKING HIS OATH AS A LAWYER? The most difficult thing about being a lawyer and a friend to someone is that thin line as to whether you can actually act in different capacities when a question of legality is on hand. If we are to base in the analogy presented by the laws.‖ Thus. from liability. Further. Notwithstanding that in the above cases the court ruled no attorney-client relationship will be established if the relationship is based on personal transaction. we wish to mention that the existence of attorney-client relationship may not always be relevant. as a lawyer. Louis would be breaking his oath as a lawyer when he advises Wendy to have an abortion. However as we explained in the first question. as indicated above. as mentioned above. immoral or deceitful conduct. dishonest. However. Let us consider the following laws as to determine the laminate our sensible and logical answer to the question at bar. The rules and ethics of the legal profession demand that the personal and private duties of an attorney should be subordinate to those which he owes to the public. In relation to the above. we can conclude that even as a family friend. if he advice abortion. the spouses specifically requests for a legal advice and such request do not fall squarely within the ambit of a personal transaction. is punishable by law.‖ We all know that in the Philippines. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. Indeed. WOULD ABORTION BE JUSTIFIED IF THERE WAS A SERIOUS RISK TO THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER? 6 .PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law assistance pro bono to prepare a petition for lost title. we believe that this will not be applicable to the case of Wendy and Manuel. in this case. In the issue of attorney-client relationship. abortion. Louis will violate his oath as lawyer. No greater responsibility devolves upon a member of the bar than that of living up to its high and exacting standards. It would be reasonable enough to choose the life of the mother over the unborn child. the Court ruled that ―the fact that there is no attorney-client relationship xxx and the transactions entered into by respondent were done in his private capacity cannot shield respondent. Deciembre. This is because. A lawyer may be disciplined for acts committed even in his private capacity for acts which tend to bring reproach on the legal profession or to injure it in the favorable opinion of the public.‖ In the case on hand. No.‖ ―Rule 1. C. Based on Section 12. ADVISES WENDY TO HAVE AN ABORTION. whether intentional or unintentional. Wendy‘s unborn child has a great probability of not being able to be completely delivered. if Louis will give an advice which would likely bring reproach to the legal profession. but also as a continuing requirement for the practice of law. 2009. for a lawyer may not divide his personality as an attorney at one time and a mere citizen at another. Louis will definitely be breaking his oath as a lawyer. B. there is already life. At any rate. As provided for by Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (CPR): ―A lawyer shall uphold the Constitution. 5338. there is no distinction as to whether the transgression is committed in a lawyer's private life or in his professional capacity. Atty. attorney-client relationship need not be proved.01 A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful. life of the unborn. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government. This is found in Articles 256 to 259 of the RPC. February 23. IF LOUIS.C. the court ruled that there was no attorney-client relationship between respondent and complainant on the basis that the preparation and the proposed filing of the petition was only incidental to their personal transaction. AS A FAMILY FRIEND. A. the life of the mother is at stake. obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law of and legal processes. not only as a condition precedent to admission. In the case of Mendoza vs. which a lawyer should not only consider but instead protect as member of the bar which such privilege demands a high degree of good moral character. clearly there is no separate personal transaction involved in the case. Article II of the 1987 Constitution: ―The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.
and the taking of innocent human life. On both definitions. If the mother dies. the child will die. but the mother will live. Lawyers. law lists it as felony under Articles 255 to 259 of the Revised Penal Code. role of the mother in rearing their children. threatens the life of another human being? Do you end the life of the child. the mother will die. And this hiatus in the law is a continuing violation of the following constitutional guarantees: (1) Section 11 Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution. provided that the following requisites are present. Any person who. The Church teaches that ―human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator.abort73. First. was passed or submitted to the Supreme Court for decision. ―The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them‖. However. ―The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights‖. It merely recognizes that since there is no way to save the baby. Catholic Christians believe that all life is sacred from conception until natural death. which states that. For obvious reason that there is no case yet. In order to save the life of the mother. they argue that abortion may be excluded from criminal liability based on the justifying and exempting circumstance under the Revised Penal Code (RPC). whether born or unborn. But what might be missing point here the equal importance of the life of the mother who carries and give life to the unborn.‖ maintains that both lives are equally protected however one may be preferred over the other under certain circumstances. or the violent expulsion of the fetus from the maternal womb which results in the death of the fetus.PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law The Roman Catholic Church has consistently condemned abortion — the direct and purposeful taking of the life of the unborn child. so to speak. That the evil sought to be avoided actual exists. (B) If the pregnancy is ended through abortion. by the Supreme Court. Article 11: Justifying Circumstance – the following do not incur any criminal liability: xxx 4. does an act which causes damage to another. if not indispensable. to save the life of the mother? This is the dilemma we face. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being" ("Donum vitae.. on the other hand. In principle. abortion is seen as a negative act. in order to avoid an evil or injury. we might justify the decision to abort a life-threatening pregnancy this way: (A) If the pregnancy continues. relative to abortion. 7 . Since there is no way to save the child. and (2) Section 15 also of Article 2 of the 1987 Constitution that states that. Third..(Church Has Always Condemned Abortion By Fr.even if there was a serious risk to the life of the mother. In both instances the child will die. It may be recommended that there is the need to clarify the grounds for exception such as (1) to save the life and health of the mother. The Church perceives it as a sin where the person who committed the act or is involved in the commission of the act will see his afterlife spent in hell. William Saunders) Law defines it as the willful killing of the fetus in the uterus. There is no debate that life of the unborn is important and sacred. the most ethical course of action is to save the mother(Source: http://www. then. it is morally expedient (even necessary. attempted to argue in support of abortion. as similarly as the case of Wendy. Not to mention the vital. but there is a way to save the mother.com/end_abortion/is_abortion_ever_justified/). or (3) if the fetus is impaired. Philosophically." 5). the mentioned justification is not yet recognized. through no fault of their own. is morally wrong. (2) if a woman is a victim of rape or incest. That the injury feared be greater than that done to avoid it. which states that: ―The State xxx shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception xxx. when the existence of one human being. Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution. That there be no other practical and less harmful means of preventing it. What do you do. The Church has never in any situation justified the commission of abortion --. the child will die. Second. than to lose two. who is its sole end. The fundamental reason that abortion is condemnable is because it kills an innocent human being. perhaps) to save the mother by ending the life of the child – on the premise that is better to save one life. This conclusion has nothing to do with valuing one life over the other.
Law will only have jurisdiction over the case should any person files a case against the mother or party with or without any direct involvement in the process. (2) In the United States. it is still science which has the final say on the case at the end of the day. and. obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law of and legal processes. xxx Canon 15 .05.abort73. it is his job to inform his friends.000 ectopic pregnancies in 1970 to only 3. as in any case involving medical recommendations. A lawyer has to provide his legal opinion in any situation should his advice be sought. There is only one pregnancy-related condition that poses a significant threat to a woman‘s life and it is ectopic pregnancy. or cervix) instead of in the uterus. If the abortion is produced b y a physician to save the life of the mother. the mother whose life is seriously threatened by her pregnancy comes to seek legal counsel on her intention to abort the fetus in her womb. neither overstating nor understating the prospects of the case (Rule 15. particularly the RPC.5 maternal deaths per 10. This would have given Manuel and Wendy the options to solve their problem solely based on legal parameters. neither overstating nor understating the prospects of the case.‖ Although our laws. at least 14 studies have documented that 68 to 77 percent of ectopic pregnancies resolve without intervention (Source: http://www. But. xxx Rule 15. an ethical case can be made for the justifiability of abortion. GIVES A LEGAL OPINION THAT ABORTION IS CRIMINAL AND DOES NOT ALLOW FOR ANY EXCEPTION.A lawyer shall uphold the constitution.7 cases per 1. IF LOUIS ACTS INSTINCTIVELY BASED ON HIS RELIGIOUS CONVICTION. II. however. regardless of his religious convictions. D. and there is no way to save the child. And finally. Being a man of the law. such ethical dilemma may be altogether unnecessary(Source: http://www. often fatal to the mother (Source: http://www.A lawyer when advising his client. he should have maintained the secular nature of the law and all the remedies attached to it. still there is what is termed as ―Therapeutic Abortion‖. CPR). DOES HE VIOLATE ANY LAW OR ETHICAL PRINCIPLE? Yes.com/end_abortion/is_abortion_ever_justified/).abort73. A report on ectopic pregnancy published by the American Academy of Family Physicians tells us a number of things: (1) Ectopic pregnancy occurs at a rate of 19. If for one case. Regardless of his 8 . The CPR provides the following: ―Canon 1 . (3) to date.com/end_abortion/is_abortion_ever_justified/). CPR).000 pregnancies in North America.com/end_abortion/is_abortion_ever_justified/). the case-fatality rate has declined from 35. fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his clients.PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law If continued pregnancy threatens the life of the mother.000 ectopic pregnancies in 1989.07.05.abort73. a condition that occurs when the embryo implants in the fallopian tubes (or in the ovary. It has been generally reported and generally believed that an ectopic pregnancy is always fatal to the child and. It was Louis‘s job to inform the couple of their options. The lawyer. does not specifically give out exemptions regarding abortion. As a lawyer. fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions with his client (Canon 15 of the Code of Professional Responsibility). . p. This is known as Therapeutic Abortion. any lawyer shall observe candor. 315) Asking for a legal opinion is not the same as asking for personal advice. Louis should not have given a value-laden answer based on religious considerations given the fact that what was asked of him was a legal opinion. of the choices that they can avail of and let them take it from there. shall give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and probable results of the client's case. shall give a candid and honest opinion on the merits and probable results of the client's case. when advising his client. the lawyer shall impress upon his client compliance with the laws and the principles of fairness (Rule 15. (Feria and Gregorio. if left untreated.A lawyer shall observe candor. also.8 maternal deaths per 10. abdomen. there is no liability.
However. Moreover.we held that: [W]hen . or repeal. While this Court sympathizes with his predicament. This is in line with his duties according to the Code of Professional Responsibility. He is mandated to give his clients the best advise based on the law. and may recommend to the authority or department concerned. layman or jurist as to the wisdom or folly of the death penalty. Thus. WENDY CONSIDERS UNDERGOING A TUBAL LIGATION. We view this on the basis that while separation of church and state is paramount. Courts are not concerned with the wisdom. because of their personal and religious beliefs. efficacy or morality of laws. resulting in an illegality and reversible error. we wish to comment that some lawyers. it is a fact that majority of the Filipinos are catholic. and as long as our criminal law provides for its imposition in certain cases. then let just let them be --just as long as such personal choices do not get in their way of being lawyers. one can always choose on whether you ―actually‖ want to do it or not…a person may not be forced in doing something which is against his will. refuse to take on annulment cases because of the stand of the church on annulment. there must be a clear definition of the punishable offense as well as the penalty that may be 9 . still. We have no quarrel with the trial judge or with anyone else. if not in disharmony with the Constitution. The maximum Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege has its roots in history. judges have no such options except in limited instances. 249 SCRA 244. It is in accordance with both centuries of civil law and common law tradition. as in the above-mentioned case. And for the guidance of the members of the judiciary we feel it incumbent upon us to state that while they as citizens or as judges may regard a certain law as harsh. taking on a case is different from giving legal advice. where the law itself provides for the sentence of death as a penalty in specific and well-defined instances. the opinion being sought from him was that of a LAWYER and he is duty-bound as a lawyer to give his five-cents worth on the matter. E. in cases of lawyers refusing to take on annulment cases. its amendment. I believe that in doing one‘s job. the Supreme Court held: ―We are aware of the trial judge's misgivings in imposing the death sentence because of his religious convictions. it is an indispensable coronary to a regime of liberty enshrined in our Constitution. Judge Veneracion. Lawyers are not like judges. If they do not want to take on annulment cases. However. In the case of People v.‖ Relating this issue to annulment cases. A judge has no choice but to render judgment based on facts given and proved and may not divert from it based on his own personal beliefs. as long as that penalty remains in the statute books. it is its bounden duty to emphasize that a court of law is no place for a protracted debate on the morality or propriety of the sentence. modification. efficacy or morality of laws.PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law personal beliefs. Tubal ligation is legally permissible in our jurisdiction. not on his personal beliefs. to apply them. Nullum crimen nulla poena sine lege. In People vs. a great number of our population adhere to the Catholic church‘s teachings. SHE AGAIN ASKS LOUIS IF THIS IS LEGALLY PERMISSIBLE. The discomfort faced by those forced by law to impose the death penalty is an ancient one. Today there are quite a number of people who honestly believe that the supreme penalty is either morally wrong or unwise or ineffective. There is no law that prohibits tubal ligation in the Philippines thus it is only but logical to conclude that it is legally permissible. private opinions not only form part of their decision but constitute a decisive factor in arriving at a conclusion and determination of a case or the penalty imposed. It is a well settled rule that the courts are not concerned with the wisdom. Limaco. then we are constrained to state our opinion. . then I guess they are merely expressing their freedom of choice. It is of the essence then that while anti-social acts should be penalized. unwise or morally wrong. IN ADDITION TO THE ABORTION ISSUE. it is the duty of judicial officers to respect and apply the law regardless of their private opinions. not only to correct the error but for the guidance of the courts. they must apply it and give it effect as decreed by the law-making body. but it is a matter upon which judges have no choice. The only function of the judiciary is to interpret the laws and. A lawyer is always duty-bound to inform his clients of the real facts on a certain issue whether they may be against his principles or not. . While lawyers always have an option or choice in choosing the cases that they may handle. That question falls exclusively within the province of the Legislature which enacts them and the Chief Executive who approves or vetoes them. as long as said law is in force. A lawyer at the outset may refuse to take on a case because it may be against his moral or personal convictions to do so.
obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal process. 324-00 (Tubal ligation was included in benefit package as surgical family planning) IRR of Medical Care Program for FOCWS. to repeat. but not absolutely. 1 May 1984 (Increasing Medicare Allowance) Section 3(e). Chapter I – The Lawyer and Society. xx xxx xxx 10 . he should be certain if he giving the same on a legal basis or on his religious conviction in order not to lead anyone to a false impression. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. AND VASECTOMY – OR IS THE ISSUE. GIVES A LEGAL OPINION THAT TUBAL LIGATION IS A FORM OF ABORTION AND THEREFORE CRIMINAL AND DOES NOT ALLOW FOR ANY EXCEPTION. choosing between life of a mother and unborn will never occur because pregnancy will never occur after tubal ligation. and the legislative body alone. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government. The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable. Section 12. EO 195 s 1994 (Tubal ligation was classified as one of the benefits) Section (6)(ii) of PD 1146. It is well settled rule that when necessary to save the life of the mother. IF LOUIS ACTS INSTINCTIVELY BASED ON HIS RELIGIOUS CONVICTION. Art II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that: Section 6. AS THE CHURCH PUTS IT. GR no. Code of Professional Responsibility. Bernas. it may be legitimate to sacrifice the life of the unborn. Moreover. LIGATION. If a lawyer will advice anyone on a legal issues. PhilHealth Board Resolution no. When the Constitution recognizes both the protection of the life of the mother and the life of the unborn. Applying the same in the case at bar. Cabural. 4 February 1983) Moreover. IRR of Program I of the Revised Philippine Medical Care Act. CONDOM. set aside. (Concurring opinion of then Chief Justice Fernando in the of People vs.INEXTRICABLY INTERTWINED WITH MORAL ISSUES? Discussion on RH Bill should be limited to legal issues. To mention few: Section 1 of EO 949. if tubal ligation would be undertaken by Wendy. it does not mean that the life of the mother is place on exactly the same level as the life of the unborn. INJECTIBLES. That is the very reason why she considers tubal ligation. IN ARGUING FOR OR AGAINST THE RH BILL. it can be well said that tubal ligation is legally permissible in our jurisdiction. Rule III. CONSIDER ALSO THE PENDING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL BEFORE CONGRESS. DO YOU THINK YOU CAN LIMIT THE DISCUSSION ON PURELY LEGAL ISSUES – WHETHER MODERN METHODS OF FAMILY PLANNING SHOULD INCLUDE METHODS TO PREVENT PREGNANCY SUCH AS THE PILL. And as a lawyer. there many laws in our jurisdiction that provide and seem to support tubal ligation as an option for surgical family planning. Section 6 and 15. which provides: A lawyer shall uphold the constitution. personal judgment and religious conviction should be. L-34105. 27 August 1987 (Tubal ligation was added as benifit) Section 41. So constitutionalism mandates. S. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. Wendy‘ chances of carrying a baby are slim because her heart would not be able to take it.. with its stress on jurisdiction rather than guvernaculum. Need not to say that such rule is not applicable life of the unborn will be sacrificed merely to save the mother from emotional suffering or to spare the child from poverty (Joaquin G. Wendy‗s life will be always in danger if she will get pregnant. Art II of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that: Section 12. IUD. Louis violates the Canon 1. that can be fixed by the legislative body. just to fill the fill the gap in the argument. DOES HE VIOLATE ANY LAW OR ETHICAL PRINCIPLE? Yes.PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law imposed a penalty. Revised Government Service Insurance ACT of 1977 (gives expense allowances for sterilization procedure to its member or latter‘s dependent) Therefore. The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines: A Commentary).J.
GR no. but not absolutely. reiterated in President McKinley's Instructions of the Philippine Commission. bind themselves to recognize and respect the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. GR no. for occasions might arise when the estate will use the church. 16 August 1999)." The idea advocated by this principle is to delineate the boundaries between the two institutions and thus avoid encroachments by one against the other because of a misunderstanding of the limits of their respective exclusive jurisdictions. shall forever be allowed. government must act for secular purposes and in ways that have primarily secular effects (Ang LADLAD Party-list vs. however. 124382. the Church is likewise barred from meddling in purely secular matters (Austria vs. NLRC. GR no. and finally embodied in the constitution of the Philippines as the supreme expression of the Filipino people. what our non-establishment clause calls for is "government neutrality in religious matters. Ruiz. 8 April 2010). No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. COMELEC. Religious freedom. "governmental reliance on religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of neutrality". not mere religious toleration. in taking their oath to support and defend the constitution. L-45459. or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Without the necessity of adverting to the historical background of this principle in our country. All the officers of the Government. 11 . and the church the state. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them. Issue on RH bill should be settled on legal facet setting aside. Otherwise stated. with its inherent limitations and recognized implications.The demarcation line calls on the entities to "render therefore unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's and unto God the things that are God's. without discrimination or preference. has taught us that the union of church and state is prejudicial to both. it is sufficient to say that our history. not to speak of the history of mankind. morality. It should be stated that what is guaranteed by our Constitution is religious liberty. Therefore. 1898. 190582. as a weapon in the furtherance of their recognized this principle of separation of church and state in the early stages of our constitutional development. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship. At bottom.PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS Legal Ethics in Family Law Section 15. It is almost trite to say now that in this country we enjoy both religious and civil freedom. 1916. from the highest to the lowest. Section 5. Article III of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that: No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion. reaffirmed in the Philippine Bill of 1902 and in the autonomy Act of August 29. 13 March 1937) The rationale of the principle of the separation of church and state is summed up in the familiar saying. it was inserted in the Treaty of Paris between the United States and Spain of December 10." While the state is prohibited from interfering in purely ecclesiastical affairs." Clearly. as a constitutional mandate is not inhibition of profound reverence for religion and is not denial of its influence in human affairs (Aglipay vs. Moreover. "Strong fences make good-neighbors.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.