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What is Medical Evidence?

It is the means sanctioned by the Rules of Court of determining in a


judicial proceeding the truth with regard to a matter of fact wherein scientific
medical knowledge is necessary.
In our Rules of Court, we have different forms of evidence. In relation
to Medical Evidence, they may be presented to the court through the
following forms:
1.
Real Evidence when an object has such a relation to the fact in
dispute as to afford reasonable grounds respecting it, such object may be
presented as evidence to the court, or its existence, situation, or nature
proved by witnesses, subject to the courts discretion.
2.
Testimonial Evidence a physician may be placed at the witness stand
to answer questions set out to him by counsels of the parties or by the
presiding officer of the court. His testimony must be given orally in an open
court and must be taken under oath or affirmation.
3.
Experimental Evidence a medical witness may be required to perform
certain experiments to prove a matter of fact. Just like real evidence, such
evidence must not be offensive to decency, sensibilities, and decorum. This
form of evidence is also subject to the discretion of the court.
4.
Documentary Evidence any written evidence by a physician in court
which is applicable to the subject matter in dispute and excluded by the Rules
of Court.
Evidence may be preserved through:
a.
b.
c.
d.

Photography and recording


Sketching
Description
Testimony of Witness
There are only two kinds of evidence necessary for conviction:

1.
Direct Evidence proves the fact in dispute without the aid of any
intervention or presumption. It corresponds to the specific or actual point of
the issue.
2.
Circumstantial Evidence the proof of facts from which, taken either
singly or collectively, the existence of a particular fact in dispute may be
inferred as an essential or probable consequence.
Medical evidence may be used in both civil and criminal trials. Evidence given
by doctors or other persons in the field of medicine may play a crucial role in

assisting the court in coming to a decision on whether a person should be


held liable or not in a civil case, and whether the accused should be found
guilty or not guilty in a criminal case.
Medical practitioners may find themselves giving evidence as:
a.
A defendant in a civil case or an accused in a criminal action (e.g. in
the case of the negligent death of a person or patient)
b.
A witness of fact (e.g. witness to vehicular accident)
c.
As a professional witness the medical practitioner is requested to
testify solely on the observed facts of a matter.
d.
As an expert witness the medical practitioner is requested to provide
an expert medical opinion on a matter.
Some examples of Medical Evidence are:
a.
Medico-legal reports
b.
Testimonies of the medical practitioner
c.
Objects, for example, a gauze left inside the body of a patient after
operation
d.
Hospital records of the patient
e.
Hospital Bills
f.
Forensics, autopsies
g.
DNA results