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Case: The Queen vs.

Dudley and Stephens, 14 Queens Bench Division 273 (1884)


Mr. Brooks, Dudley, Stephens and the victim Mr. Parker were English seamen. The
group was cast away in a storm on the high seas and was compelled to put into an open boat with
lack of supply of food or water. After the group had been without food for seven days and
without water for five days, the Defendants spoke to Mr. Brooks about sacrificing the victim Mr.
Parker, which was sick and in a much weaker state, to save the rest. Mr. Brooks dissented and
the victim was not consulted. Mr. Dudley suggested that if no vessel was in sight the next
morning, they would kill the victim. No vessel appeared the next day, so Mr. Dudley with the
assent of Mr. Stephens killed the victim. The three remaining castaways fed upon the victim Mr.
Parker for four days at which time a passing vessel rescued them.

Dudley and Stephens were put on trial in order to determine whether the act of killing
Parker was murder. The jury determined that the men would not have survived to the time of
rescue if they had not fed off Parker’s body and that, at the time, it was reasonable to assume
they would die of starvation before they were rescued. The jury also determined that Parker
would likely have died before the other three men. The jury made these conclusions of fact but
was ultimately unable to reach a verdict as to Dudley and Stephens’ culpability. It instead
submitted a special verdict requesting the court to determine Dudley and Stephens’s culpability
based on its findings of fact.


Does the defense of necessity permit the killing of one person to save others?


No. At the time of this case the doctrine of necessity was still largely unexplored. Much
of the prevailing authority at the time spoke of necessity in terms of what is now called self-
defense, i.e. taking another’s life to safeguard one’s own. Lord Bacon provided some authority
for the existence of the defense of necessity to lesser crimes. For example, a hungry man is not
guilty of larceny for stealing food. However, the Queen’s Bench acknowledged that no court has
ever accepted necessity as a defense to murder and for good reason. Permitting such a defense to
be asserted raises poignant questions such as how does one measure the comparative values of
lives and who decides such things. Further, specific to the present case, Lord Coleridge asks,
“Was it more necessary to kill [Parker] than one of the grown men?”

While this murder was arguably not “devilish” and even though the men probably would
not have survived otherwise, Lord Coleridge held that there is never any absolute or unqualified
necessity to preserve one’s own life. Once such a defense is allowed, there is no telling what
atrocious crimes may be justified by the excuse of necessity.


A person may not sacrifice another person’s life to save his own. You can only justify to
kill someone’s life if he threatened the life of another. The extreme necessity of hunger cannot
justify larceny, let alone murder. Law and morality are not the same, and many things may be
immoral which are not necessarily illegal. If these men were to be found innocent, it would
signal the divorce of law from morality.
Case: Padre and Padre vs. Malabanan, GR no. 165620, Sep. 8,2006


Petitioners filed an ejectment case against the respondent and two others. Petitioner
alleged that they are the owner of the property and the respondent are just there because of their
tolerance and upon demand the respondent must vacate the premises in which the respondent did
not do in multiple occasions. However, in reply by the respondent he denied all the allegations
and claims that he did know about the respondent and he has been living there for a long time
and there was no demand whatsoever by the petitioners.

The MeTC ruled of the ejectment case. However, reversed by the RTC and CA
contending that mere allegations does not equal to proof upon the findings that there was no clear
evidence that they really owned the land.


WON allegation of the Petitioner can be proof that they own the property


No, in the law of evidence, allegations are not proofs, more so when, as here, the other
party very much denied those allegations. The fatal error committed by the MeTC and
perpetuated on appeal by the RTC is that both courts mistook allegations as proofs, ignoring the
fact that those allegations were all denied by the respondent. As correctly observed by the CA,
evidence is totally wanting as to when and under what circumstances was the alleged tolerance
came about. In fact, judging from the records, the respondent was already on the property even
before the petitioners obtained their TCT.


In the case, upon submission of the evidences the petitioner’s just alleged all the facts that
they claimed. There was no clear evidence on the part of the petitioner’s that they really wanted
to claimed their land. Also, there was no record on when did the petitioner allowed the
respondent to stay in their land.
Case: Professional Services vs. Natividad, GR No. 126297 (2007)

Natividad Agana was rushed to Medical City because of difficulty of bowel
movement and bloody anal discharge. Dr. Ampil diagnosed her to be suffering from cancer of
the sigmoid and anterior resection surgery on her, and finding that the malignancy spread on her
left ovary. He obtained the consent of her husbandto permit Dr. Fuentes to
perform hysterectomy on her.

Dr. Ampil was about to complete the procedure when the attending nurses made some
remarks on the Record of Operation: two pieces of gauze were missing. A “diligent search” was
conducted but they could not be found. Dr. Ampil then directed that the incision be closed.

A couple of days after, she complained of pain in her anal region, but the doctors told her
that it was just a natural consequence of the surgery. Dr. Ampil recommended that she consult an
oncologist to examine the cancerous nodes which were not removed during the operation. After
months of consultations and examinations in the US, she was told that she was free of cancer.

Weeks after coming back, her daughter found a piece of gauze (1.5 in) protruding from
her vagina, so Dr. Ampil manually extracted this, assuring Natividad that the pains will go away.
However, the pain worsened, so she sought treatment at a hospital, where another 1.5 in piece of
gauze was found in her vagina. She underwent another surgery.

Sps. Agana filed a complaint for damages against PSI (owner of Medical City), Dr. Ampil,
and Dr. Fuentes, alleging that the latter are liable for negligence for leaving 2 pieces of gauze in
Natividad’s body, and malpractice for concealing their acts of negligence.Pending the outcome
of the cases, Natividad died (now substituted by her children). RTC found PSI and the two
doctors liable for negligence and malpractice. PRC dismissed the case against Dr. Fuentes. CA
dismissed only the case against Fuentes.

WON PSI may be held liable for Dr. Ampil’s negligence

Yes, under Ramos v. CA doctrine on Employee-Employer relationship it states that For
purposes of apportioning responsibility in medical negligence cases, an employer-employee
relationship in effect exists between hospitals and their attending and visiting physicians.

Also in the Doctrine of Apparent Authority, it imposes liability because of the actions of
a principal or employer in somehow misleading the public into believing that the relationship
or the authority exists. PSI publicly displays in the Medical City lobby the names and
specializations of their physicians. Hence, PSI is now estopped from passing all the blame to
the physicians whose names it proudly paraded in the public directory, leading the public to
believe that it vouched for their skill and competence. Also PSI failed to perform the duty of
exercising reasonable care to protect from harm all patients admitted into its facility for
medical treatment. PSI failed to conduct an investigation of the matter reported in the note of
the count nurse, and this established PSI’s part in the dark conspiracy of silence and
concealment about the gauzes.

Although they claimed that the doctor is not a regular in the Hospital. PSI cannot escape
liability for as a Hospital, it has the duty to cure the sick and give comfort to those who are in
need. Also, Petitioner chose Dr. Ampil because he knew that he was part of Medical City, a
prominent and known Hospital.