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Leandro Carillo v.

G.R. No. 86890
January 21, 1994


Catherine Acosta (Catherine), a 13yr old girl suffered stomach pains. The girl complained to
her parents, and the parents in turn informed their family doctor, Dr. Elva Pena (Pena). Dr. Pena
called for Dr. Emilio Madrid (Madrid) which diagnosed the same to be appendicitis, thus told the
parents of Catherine to bring her to the hospital in Baclaran.

In the hospital, the nurse administered a blood test and decided that no further tests were
needed as Catherine was looking healthy. After being late for 45 minutes from the scheduled time
for operation, Dr. Madrid directly brought Catherine to the operating room. Dr. Madrid was assisted
by Dr. Leandro Carillo (Carillo) the anesthesiologist. Dr. Carillo did not perform any weight test to
determine the safe amount of anesthesia (Nubain) to be used on Catherine.

After the operation complications arose where Catherine was pale, shivering, had irregular
breathing and a weak heartbeat.. Her parents inquired about the situation with the nurses and the
doctors, not appreciating the severity of the situation, merely suggested to use an oxygen tank.
Catherine then had a heart attack and convulsions and she was diagnosed to have been infected in
the head due to the lesion. During this time Dr. Carillo left the hospital, and when he returned he
saw Catherine on two dextrose and made a remark: What is this? Christmas tree or what?, and
told the 1 bottle to be removed. Her parents questioned if she was going to be alright to which Dr.
Carillo said that it is nothing, the child will regain consciousness and if the child will not regain
consciousness, I will resign as a doctor. Catherine was then unconscious and remained to be so
until the next day where she was declared to be comatose by the neurologist who examined her.
After 3 days she died without regaining consciousness.


Yolanda Acosta (Yolanda), Catherines mother, filed a complaint against Dr. Carillo and Dr.
Madrid before the RTC of Paranaque. The RTC convicted Dr. Carillo of the crime of simple negligence
resulting in homicide. The CA affirmed the judgment of conviction, Dr. Carillo did not appeal the
decision of the CA and thus became final. Dr. Carillo then filed a petition to question the factual
soundness of the CA before the SC.

1. Whether Dr. Carillo and Dr. Madrid acted negligently in their duties which resulted to the
death of their patient.

YES, both doctors acted negligently in providing the proper care to their patient,
during and post operation. The Court defined simple negligence, penalized under what is now
Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, as "a mere lack of prevision in a situation where either
the threatened harm is not immediate or the danger not openly visible." The rule in such cases
is that while the prosecution must prove the negative ingredient of the offense, it needs only
to present the best evidence procurable under the circumstances, in order to shift the burden
of disproving or countering the proof of the negative ingredient to the accused, provided that
such initial evidence establishes at least on a prima facie basis the guilt of the accused. This
rule is particularly applicable where the negative ingredient of the offense is of such a nature
or character as, under the circumstances, to be specially within the knowledge or control of
the accused. In the instant case, the Court is bound to observe that the events which occurred
during the surgical procedure (including whether or not Nubain had in fact been administered
as an anesthesia immediately before or during the surgery) were peculiarly within the
knowledge and control of Dr. Carillo and Dr. Madrid. It was, therefore, incumbent upon the
two (2) accused to overturn the prima facie case which the prosecution had established, by
reciting the measures which they had actually taken to prevent or to counter the obviously
serious condition of Catherine Acosta which was evident right after surgery. This they failed
or refused to do so.

The following negligent acts were found:
- Dr. Madrid did not take intensive preoperative preparations, like the immediate
administration of antibiotics which is a standard procedure for those who have
been diagnosed, and suspected to have their appendix ruptured.
- Dr. Carillo being late (45mins) for the surgery which would increase the morbidity
of the patient.
- Dr. Carillo failing to weigh the patient to know the safe dosage of the anesthesia
considering that there has been no experience to the administration thereof to a
patient less than 18 years of age.
- Dr. Madrid and Dr. Carillo not submitting Catherine to intensive care when it was
apparent that Catherine was pale, shivering, had irregular breathing and a weak
heartbeat post operation.
- Failure of both doctors to inform the parents of Catherine the severity of the
situation or the nature of the sickness that their daughter is experiencing.