Medical Jurisprudence 2013 Syllabus

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Medical Jurisprudence Syllabus



Dr. Teresa Paz B. Grecia-Pascual



I. Definition of Medical Jurisprudence

A. Differentiate from Legal Medicine and Forensic Medicine.

B. Medical Jurisprudence: A specialized area of legal practice concerned with the relationship between medicine and the law. More specifically, medical jurisprudence is the scientific use of legal and paralegal specialties in the pursuit of justice in court proceedings and in the protection of the public from medical negligence or malpractice. Strictly speaking, it is the application of the principles of law as they relate to the practice of medicine, to the obligations of the practitioner to his patient, and to the relations of physicians to each other and to society in general (Dorlands Illustrated Medical dictionary, 28th Edition, 1994).

C. Legal Medicine: The professional and academic discipline which concerns itself with legal aspects of medical science, medical practice, and other health care delivery problems. Strictly, legal medicine should include both forensic medicine and medical jurisprudence.

D. Forensic Medicine: A specialized area of medical practice concerned with the relationship between medicine and the law. In the Philippines, forensic medicine and medical jurisprudence are branches of legal medicine.

II.Role/Purpose of Medical Jurisprudence

A. Cause of Action

B. Defense

C. Evidence

III.Branches of Law where Med Jur/Legal Medicine may be applied

A. Civil Law and Family Code:

1. determination and termination of civil personality (Article 40, 41, 42 of Civil Code);

2. limitation or restriction of a natural persons capacity to act (Article 38 and 39);

3. The marriage and legal separation;

4. Paternity and Filiation; and

5. Testimentary Capacity of a person making a will.

B. Criminal Law:

1. Circumstances affecting criminal liability (Title I);

2. Crimes against Persons (Title VIII);

3. Crimes against Chastity (Title XI).

C. Remedial Law:

1. Physical and Mental examination of a person (Rule 28);

2. Proceedings for hospitalization of an insane person (Rule 101); and

3. Rules on Evidence.

D. Special Laws:

1. Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act;

2. Insurance Law;

3. Labor Code;

4. Employees Compensation Law;

5. Anti-violence against Women and their Children Act of 2004.

6. Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006.



I.Health Professionals: Physician, nurse, dentist, pharmacist, medical technologist, veterinarian, physical and occupational therapist, radiology technologist, optometrist, midwife, nutritionist and dietitian, sanitary engineer and social worker.

II.Related laws governing Healthcare Professionals

ProfessionalRep. Act No.Name of Law

Physician2382Medical Act of 1959, as amended

Nurse9173Philippine Nursing Act of 2002

Dentist4419The Philippine Dental Act of 1965

Pharmacist5921Act Regulating the Practice of Pharmacy

Medical technologist5527Philippine Medical Technology Act of 1969

Veterinarian9268The Philippine Veterinary Medicine Act of 2004

Physical and Occupational Therapist5680Philippine Physical and Occupational Therapy Law

Radiology Technologist7431Radiologic Technology Act of 1992

Optometrist8050Revised Optometry Law of 1995

Midwife7392Philippine Midwifery Act of 1992

Nutritionist Dietetics1286Regulating the Practice of Nutrition and Dietetics in the Philippines

Sanitary Engineer1364Sanitary Engineering Law

Social Worker4373An Act to Regulate the Practice of Social Work

Public Health Worker7305Magna Carta of Public Health Workers

Barangay Health Workers7883Barangay Health Workers Benefits and Incentives Act of 1995

Look at the definitions of practice of the different healthcare professional fields.

III.Executive Order No. 212:requires the attending physician of any hospital, medical clinic, sanitarium, or other medical establishments, or any other medical practitioner, who has treated any person for serious or less serious physical injuries as these injuries are defined in Articles 262, 263, 264 and 265 of the Revised Penal Code shall report the fact of such treatment promptly to the nearest government health authority.

IV.Other Laws on Health Promotion

A.R.A. No. 9288: Newborn Screening Act of 2004: Any health practitioner who delivers or assists in the delivery of a newborn in the Philippines shall, prior to delivery, inform the parents or legal guardian of the newborn of the availability, nature and benefits of newborn screening.

B.R.A. No. 8504:Philippine Aids Prevention and Control Act of



C.R.A. No. 7277:Magna Carta for Disabled Persons

D.R.A. No. 8980:Early Childhood Care and Development Act

E.R.A. No. 7875:National Health Insurance Act of 1995;

amended by R.A. No. 9241.



I.Prerequisites to the Practice of Medicine


B.Age Requirement

C.Educational Requirement

D.Licensure Examination

E.Oath taking

F.Certificate of Registration

G.Limited Practice without any Certificate of Registration

H.Balikbayan Physicians

I.Applicable Laws:

1.1987 Philippine Constitution

2.Republic Act No. 1885

3.Medical Act of 1959, R.A. 2382

4.P.D. No. 223; repealed by R.A. 89815.R. A. 42245.Board of Medicine et. al. vs.Yasuyuki Ota, G.R. No. 166097, July 14, 20086.Balik Scientist Program, E.O. 130, series 1993; PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 541II.Illegal Practice of MedicineA. Definition of Practice of Medicine: Section 10, Medical Act of 1959.B. Definition of Illegal Practice of Medicine

C. Criminal Nature:People vs. Quebral, 68 Phil. 564

D. Intent is immaterial:

People vs. Anunciacion Vda. De Golez, G.R. No. L-14160, June 30, 1960E. It is independent from the result of the practice.

F. It is independent from other crimes committed with it: People vs. Hatani, G.R. Nos. 78813-14, November 8, 1993G. A physician should be licensed and registered with the Professional Regulation Commission. The general rule is that no person shall be engaged in the practice of medicine in the Philippines unless he is a holder of a valid certificate of registration duly issued to him by the Board of Medicine. However, there are exemptions to this rule as stated in Section 11, Medical Act of 1959, as amended by R.A. No. 4224.III.Illegal Practice Explained in Court Decisions

A. People vs. Ventura, G.R. No. L-15079, January 31, 1962

B. People vs. Buenviaje, 47 Phil. 536

C. Crisostomo vs. SEC, G.R. Nos. 89095 & 89555, November 6, 1989D. People vs. Quebral,supra.E. People vs. Hatani, supra.

F. People vs. Buenviaje, supra.

IV.Faith HealingA. Is it exempted from the definition of acts which constitute the practice of medicine?

B. Sec 5, Art. III, 1987 ConstitutionC. Religious Belief Test

D. People vs. Handzik, 102 N.E. (2d) 340 Ill. 1951.E. People vs. Wendel, 68 N.Y.S. (2d) N.Y. 1946.F. People vs. Cole, 219 N.Y. 98, 113 N.E. 790 L.R.A. 1917 C 816G. People vs. Klinger, Ill. 11 N.E. 40H. State Board of Medical Examiners vs. Maxwell, N.J. 181 A. 694.V.Exemptions: Section 11PART FOUR


I.Physician-Patient Relationship

A. A contract: elements of a contract

B. Nature: fiduciary, consensual

C. NCC, Articles 1305, 1306, 1318, 1319, 1322

D. Changes: patient treated as commercial commodity, VAT law.

E. When does it start: Doctrine of Cognition of Civil Contracts

F. Cases:

1. Garcia-Rueda vs. Pascasio, G.R. No. 118141, September 5, 1997

2. Santiago A. del Rosario, et al., vs. Honorable Alfredo Bengzon, G.R. No. 88265, December 21, 1989

II. Cases where there are no Physician-Patient relationship

A. Pre-employment physical examination to determine whether the applicant is suitable for work or not.

B. Physical examinations for the purpose of determining eligibility for insurance.

C. When the physician is appointed by the trial court to examine the accused and to report whether he is insane.

D. During autopsy because a dead body is no longer a person or a patient.

E. Casual questions asked of a physician in an unordinary place may not create Physician-patient contractual relationship, as in a social gathering.

III.Rights and duties of a Physician

A. Bill of Rights

B. The Hippocratic Oath

C. Code of Medical Ethics of the Board of Medicine

D. Code of Ethics of the Medical Profession, Philippine Medical Association

E. Right to refuse treatment: exception = RA 8344

F. Right to limit medical practice

G. Right to withhold information: exception = in criminal cases; upon lawful order of the court

H. Right of way while responding to an emergency call

I. Right to be paid for services rendered

IV.Duties of Physicians to their patients:

A.Code of Ethics

B.Carillo vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 86890, January 21,


V.Rights of Patients

A. Right to choose his physician

B. Right to treatment

C. Right to informed consent

D. Right to confidential information

E. Right to privacy and access to communication

F. Equal protection of the law

G. Review medical records and have information explained

H. Continuity of care



I.Administrative Liabilities

A. Practice of medicine is a privilege and not a right. Look at Section 24, Medical Act of 1959. The State can take away the privilege anytime once there are violations of the provisions of the Medical Act. The proper venue is the Professional Regulation commission because it has quasi-judicial authority.

B. Grounds for reprimand, suspension or revocation of certificate of registration of the physician:

1. conviction by a court of competent jurisdiction of any criminal offense involving moral turpitude;

2. immoral or dishonorable conduct;

3. insanity;

4. fraud in the acquisition of the certificate of registration;

5. gross negligence, ignorance or incompetence in the practice of his or her profession resulting in an injury to or death of the patient;

6. addiction to alcoholic beverages or to any habit forming drug rendering him or her incompetent to practice his or her profession, or to any form of gambling;

7. false or extravagant or unethical advertisements wherein other things than his name, profession, limitation of practice, clinic hours, office and home address, are mentioned;

8. performance of or aiding in any criminal abortion;

9. knowingly issuing any false medical certificate;

10. Issuing any statement or spreading any news or rumor which is derogatory to the character and reputation of another physician without justifiable motive;

11. aiding or acting as a dummy of an unqualified or unregistered person to practice medicine; and

12. violation of any provision of the Code of Ethics as approved by the Philippine Medical Association.

C. Characteristics of the Administrative Proceedings (Medical Act of 1959, as amended)

1. Presumption of innocence;

2. Preponderance of evidence;

3. Rights of respondents (Section 25, Medical Act; The Constitution; Section 1 of Rule 115 of the Rules of Court);

4. Appeal from judgment (Section 26, Medical Act);

5. Reinstatement (Section 27, Medical Act);

6. Penalties (Section 28, Medical Act);

7. Injunctions (Section 29, Medical Act).

II.Civil Liabilities of Physicians

A. Civil liabilities of physicians fall under the following categories:

1. Breach of Contract; different from medical negligence;

2. Violation of Articles 19, 20, or 21 of the New Civil Code; and

3. Tort (Quasi-delict or breach of legal duty) legal wrongdoing independent of the contract (Article 2176, NCC).

III.Criminal Liabilities of Physicians

A. Criminal vs. civil liabilities:

1. Crimes are considered public wrongs which are a breach and violation of public rights and duties which affect the whole community and is distinguished by the harsher term crime or misdemeanor. Civil wrongs are considered violations of rights which belong to the individual and are termed civil injuries.

2. Criminal: liability is always penal. Civil law: damages.

3. It is important to remember that there can be no civil action for negligence if the negligent act or omission has not been attended by an injury to any person. Bare negligence involving the risk of injury is punishable criminally, though nobody is actually hurt by it.

B. Provisions of the RPC which specifically mentioned the physician as the wrongdoer

1. Issuance of False Medical Certificates (Article 174, RPC);

2. Abortion (Article 259, supra);

3. Simulation of births, substitution and concealment or abandonment of a legitimate child (Article 347, supra);

4. Failure to report treatment of physical injuries (PD 169; E.O. 212);

5. Refusal to render treatment in emergency cases (RA 6615, Section 3);

6. Violation of RA 9344 (Sections 1, 4);

7. Failure to report maltreated or abused child (PD 603, Article 166);

8. Violation of the Generics Act of 1988 (Sections 6 and 12); and

9. Violation of Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 (Section 30).

C. Liabilities incurred incidental to the practice of the profession

1. Criminal negligence and imprudence (Article 365, RPC);

2. Violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Sections 18 and 19, RA 9165);

3. Liability in the issuance of birth and death certificates (PD 651, as amended by PD 766, Sections 1, 2, 4, 5 and 9);

4. Sexual harassment;

5. Sale of pharmaceutical samples (RA 5921, Sections 26 and 40); and

6. Giving assistance to suicide (Article 253, RPC).



I.Definition of Medical Negligence

Garcia-Rueda vs. Pascasio, G.R. No. 118141, September 5, 1997

II.Elements of medical negligence: PETER PAUL PATRICK LUCAS, FATIMA GLADYS LUCAS, ABBEYGAIL LUCAS AND GILLIAN LUCAS vs. DR. PROSPERO MA. C. TUAO, [G.R. No. 178763. April 21, 2009.]III.Physicians may become professionally liable for malpractice in the following ways:

A. Through the physicians own negligence (failing to conform to generally accepted medical practice);

B. Through the negligence of the physicians employees: Respondeat Superior);

C. Through the physicians failure to obtain the informed consent of the patient prior to treatment;

D. Through breach of physician-patient contractual relationship (i.e., abandoning patient, disclosing confidential information, or guaranteeing a cure or some other specific result); and

E. Through the negligence of the physicians partners.

IV.Standard of Care: The standard of care for physicians and health care providers requires that they exercise that degree of skill, knowledge and care ordinarily possessed and exercised by other membe...