Editorial: Hardening of hospital’s stance

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Monday, May 19, 2014

GETTING a lawyer often follows the hardening of the stance of a party to an incident. That seems to be the meaning of the Cebu Puericulture Center and Maternity House now having a lawyer to represent itself on the controversy over the alleged taping of the mouth of an infant left under its care.

And like what he is trained to do, lawyer Cornelio Mercado immediately went on an offensive against the infant’s parents, Ryan Noval and Jasmine Badocdoc. In an interview with Sun.Star Cebu’s Justine Vestil, Mercado virtually raised suspicions about the parents’ claim that a nurse or nurses did the taping.

Taping of baby's mouth in Cebu hospital
Editorial cartoon by Josua Cabrera of Sun.Star Cebu

The lawyer has asked Noval and Badocdoc to file sworn affidavits and to present the contents of their cellular phone containing the pictures of the infant. He claimed that one of the nurses caught the parents taking pictures of other babies, an act that they obviously considered as suspicious.


Even then, the Maternity House management has refused to divulge the results of its investigation into the incident even if Mercado said the hospital is willing to participate in the probe being done by the Department of Health and other agencies.

But a hardening of stance is the last thing the public wants. What people expect is for the truth and the lessons learned from the incident to come out to ensure that similar incidents won’t happen in the future. A long-drawn legal battle can’t do that.

But then, the hospital’s internal investigation may have tilted to one side—their medical personnel’s side. It may have seen Noval and Badocdoc differently from what many people see them. But that is not a reason to clam up and to set up the legal barricades, sort of.

This incident is not only about legal processes but is also about the improvement of medical services. The latter is best served if the result of the hospital’s investigation is divulged to the public because it shows an effort to be transparent as well as to be honest.

Clamming up and preparing for a long-drawn legal battle would not make the hospital’s administration look good in the public’s eyes.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 20, 2014.


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