MARQUEZ vs THE BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS G.R. No. L-24119, August 8, 1925

Fact:

The petitioner is a graduate of the Chicago Medical College, having received the degree of M.D. from said institution on June 8, of the year 1922. However, the said college has been classified as a Class C medical college by the National Medical State Board of the United States after his graduation. For this reason the respondents, in accordance with the regulations of the board now in effect, have denied the requisite standing to said institution and excluded petitioner. In the argument for the petitioner it is admitted that under Act No. 3111, and the regulations now in force, the petitioner is disqualified to take the examinations; but it is pointed out that at the time he began and even when he conducted his course in the Chicago Medical School, said institution was still recognized as a reputable medical institution; and the question submitted is whether the petitioner’s case should be governed by the law and regulations in force at the time of his enrollment in and graduation from the Chicago Medical School, or by those in force at the time he filed his application for admission, on or about September 26, 1924. It is submitted for the petitioner that his case should be governed by the law and regulations at the time of his graduation. To hold otherwise, it is insisted, is to make the law retroactive in effect and to do irreparable damage to the petitioner, who has pursued his work in the institution referred to in good faith, believing that said school had the status necessary to qualify him from examination. Hence this case.

Issue:

Whether the Board of Medical Examiners may make law with retroactive effect?

Held:

Yes, the question whether a medical institution is “a reputable medical school,” in the sense intended by the law, is vested in the Board of Medical Examiners, and although the action taken by them may conceivably, in isolated cases, result in hardship, nevertheless the interests of the public require that the board should be free to exercise its judgment and discretion without reference to the effect of the determination of the question in particular instances. There can in the nature of things be no vested right in an existing law, which would preclude its change or repeal. No one who has commenced preparation in a particular institution has any inchoate right on account of that fact. If the law were otherwise upon this point, it would be impossible for the Board of Medical Examiners to give effect to the knowledge which they from time to time acquire as to the standing of medical schools; and an intending physician, upon matriculating in a particular college, takes upon himself the risk of changes that may be made in the standing of the institution by the board.

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