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CASE: Geluz v.

# f Pages (Full Text): 3
GR NO: 2 SCRA 801; G.R. No. L - NOTES:
16439 DATE: July 20, 1961
TOPIC: commencement and termination of personality (

FACTS: Her present husband impregnated Nita Villanueva before they were legally married. Desiring to conceal her
pregnancy from the parent, she had herself aborted by petitioner Antonio Geluz. After her marriage, she again became
pregnant. As she was then employed in the COMELEC and her pregnancy proved to be inconvenient, she had herself
aborted again by Geluz. Less than 2 years later, Nita incurred a third abortion of a two-month old fetus, in consideration
of the sum of P50.00. Her husband did not know of, nor consented to the abortion. Hence Oscar Lazo, private
respondent, sued petitioner for damages based on the third and last abortion.
The trial court rendered judgment ordering Antonio Geluz to pay P3,000.00 as damages, P700.00 as attorney’s fee and
the cost of the suit. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.
ISSUE(S): Is an unborn child covered with personality so that if the unborn child incurs injury, his parents may recover
damages from the ones who caused the damage to the unborn child?


DISPOSITIVE PORTION: It is unquestionable that the appellant's act in provoking the abortion of appellee's wife, without
medical necessity to warrant it, was a criminal and morally reprehensible act, that can not be too severely condemned;
and the consent of the woman or that of her husband does not excuse it. But the immorality or illegality of the act does
not justify an award of damage that, under the circumstances on record, have no factual or legal basis.

The decision appealed from is reversed, and the complaint ordered dismissed. Without costs.
RATIO: Personality begins at conception. This personality is called presumptive personality. It is, of course, essential that
birth should occur later, otherwise the fetus will be considered as never having possessed legal personality.
Since an action for pecuniary damages on account of injury or death pertains primarily to the one injured, it is easy to see
that if no action for damages could be instituted on behalf of the unborn child on account of injuries it received, no such
right of action could derivatively accrue to its parents or heirs. In fact, even if a cause of action did accrue on behalf of the
unborn child, the same was extinguished by its pre-natal death, since no transmission to anyone can take place from one
that lacked juridical personality.
It is no answer to invoke the presumptive personality of a conceived child under Article 40 of the Civil Code because that
same article expressly limits such provisional personality by imposing the condition that the child should be subsequently
born alive. In the present case, the child was dead when separated from its mother’s womb.
This is not to say that the parents are not entitled to damages. However, such damages must be those inflicted directly
upon them, as distinguished from injury or violation of the rights of the deceased child
CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE (Related to the Topic):
Provisional Personality Article 40, doesn’t cover unborn child, the said provision limits that the child should be born (
complete delivery of a mother)