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Cebu News

Dentist cleared from negligence raps

- Mylen P. Manto - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - Regional Trial Court Judge Raphael Yrastorza cleared Dr. John Sidney Ricamora from criminal charges filed against him for extracting two permanent teeth of a 10-year-old boy which the dentist believed to be milk teeth.

In his ruling, Yrastorza found Ricamora not guilty of the crime charged for reckless imprudence resulting to serious physical injuries due to the failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused,

“Nothing in the above testimony of the victim would indicate that Ricamora was reckless in his actuations or dealings with the victim or any other member of his family,” he said.

Though the victim claimed it was permanent teeth that the accused pulled out, Yrastorza ruled he was not in the position to cite whether it is permanent or not.

“Victim’s testimony to the technical aspect of the pulling out of his teeth, whether permanent or temporary, is not within his capacity to testify but that of a dentist who was never called to the witness-stand,” judgment reads.

The incident happened on May 8, 2003.

In his testimony, the victim said the accused had long been their family dentist since 1993. This was affirmed by his parents.

The parents said before the extraction, the accused made several check-ups on the teeth of the victim until such time that the latter extracted it.

However, they said the front teeth of their son never came out prompting them to ask for another opinion and found out that the extracted teeth were permanent teeth and not milk teeth.

The victim now wears false teeth and as proof, he removed his dentures and showed it to the court.

The prosecution insisted that the accused committed medical malpractice but in his testimony, Ricamora clarified that the teeth he extracted were defective.

“The teeth of the minor which I extracted, has been properly monitored for more than three years. I saw that said temporary teeth are already badly carious and non-restorative that will cause the adjacent permanent teeth to fall off that will eventually affect the general health of the child so I recommended for its extraction,” he said.

He said the extraction made was upon the consent of the parents. He added that upon x-ray, it was discovered that the teeth were temporary.

Ricamora alleged that the filing of case was made in bad faith since the complainant forcibly took all dental records from his office and the latter intended to extort money from him by demanding a huge amount for settlement.

To corroborate his testimony, he presented Dr. Ruby Maraya as witness.

Maraya, in her testimony, said the complainant went to her office and told her that they intended to file a complaint against a dentist.

However, she told them that their case will be dismissed because the extraction of their son’s teeth was right because it was defective.

Mildred Rafols, the secretary, corroborated the testimony of the accused that indeed the dental records were forcibly taken by the complainant.

She said she thought the complainant will only look for the records but instead he took it away.

Despite the prosecution’s claim that the accused committed negligence, Yrastorza said the evidence presented by the prosecution failed to establish their claim. (FREEMAN)

ACCUSED

DR. JOHN SIDNEY RICAMORA

DR. RUBY MARAYA

MARAYA

MILDRED RAFOLS

REGIONAL TRIAL COURT JUDGE RAPHAEL YRASTORZA

RICAMORA

TEETH

TESTIMONY

VICTIM

YRASTORZA

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