SPOUSES FLORES vs. SPOUSES PINEDA G.R. No. 158996, November 14, 2008

Teresita, went to UDMC to get treatment with her vaginal bleeding. Petitioner arrived and checked up Teresita and admitted her in the hospital. She scheduled the patient for a D&C operation to find out the cause of bleeding. Before the operation, the patient was subjected to laboratory testing. Without the complete laboratory test results, the petitioners proceeded with the operation. After the operation, all the laboratory result arrived which indicated that the patient has a very high blood sugar. The patient’s condition worsen and dies. The respondent filed a medical negligence case against the petitioner which was granted by the RTC and affirmed by the CA. Hence this case.

Whether the Petitioner spouses exercised due care and prudence in the performance of their duties as medical professionals and did not commit medical negligence.

No, A medical negligence case is a type of claim to redress a wrong committed by a medical professional, that has caused bodily harm to or the death of a patient. There are four elements involved in a medical negligence case, namely: duty, breach, injury, and proximate causation.

Duty refers to the standard of behavior which imposes restrictions on one’s conduct. The standard in turn refers to the amount of competence associated with the proper discharge of the profession. A physician is expected to use at least the same level of care that any other reasonably competent doctor would use under the same circumstances.

Breach of duty occurs when the physician fails to comply with these professional standards.

If injury results to the patient as a result of this breach, the physician is answerable for negligence.

Causal connection between the negligence which the evidence established and the plaintiff’s injuries is the critical and clinching factor in a medical negligence case; the plaintiff must plead and prove not only that he had been injured and defendant has been at fault, but also that the defendant’s fault caused the injury. A verdict in a malpractice action cannot be based on speculation or conjecture. Causation must be proven within a reasonable medical probability based upon competent expert testimony.

When the Petitioner proceeded with the operation without the comprehensive pre-operative evaluation, constitute medical negligence.


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