MANILA, Philippines—The Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) revoking the license of Hayden Kho to practice cosmetic surgery.
Associate Justice Edwin Sorongon of the appellate court’s 8th division in his decision affirmed the power of the PRC to suspend or revoke a certificate of registration and license of erring professionals.
“The practice of medicine is not a natural right but a privilege bestowed by the State on those who show that they possess, and continue to possess, the qualifications required by the conferment of such privilege,” according to the court’s June 29 ruling, citing the Basics of Philippine Medical Jurisprudence and Ethics.
Kho, a celebrity cosmetic surgeon, was stripped of his professional license after his videotaped steamy tryst with actress Katrina Halili in 2009 was leaked. Halili, who lost her court case against Kho, had claimed she was not aware the surgeon was recording their sex encounter.
The PRC found Kho, who then was a physician of the Belo Medical Group, Inc. (BMGI), guilty of charges of immorality and dishonorable and unethical conduct, affirming a decision rendered by the Board of Medicine on November 20, 2009. He filed a motion for reconsideration that the PRC denied in a ruling dated February 8, 2010.
Kho, in his appeal said the circulation of the video could not warrant the revocation of his license “because it was concededly not done in relation to the practice of his medical profession.”
But the appeals court said that the disqualifying immoral conduct need not be directly connected with the practice of the profession.
“(A) relation between the complained act constituting immorality or dishonorable conduct to the practice of medicine need not exist. It may pertain to life in general as there can be no dichotomy to separate a physician’s existence into his professional and personal being.”
The appellate court said that the standard of morality expected of medical professionals is quite high since the State recognizes the fact that physicians should protect the health, safety and well-being of the public.