Criminal cause and effect

There must be a relation of "cause and effect," the cause being the felonious act of the offender, the effect being the resultant injuries and/or death of the victim. The "cause and effect" relationship is not altered or changed because of the pre-existing conditions, such as the pathological condition of the victim; the predisposition of the offended party; the physical condition of the offended party; or the concomitant or concurrent conditions, such as the negligence or fault of the doctors; or the conditions supervening the felonious act such as tetanus, pulmonary infection or gangrene. (Quinto v. Andres, G.R. No. 155791, 16 March 2005, 453 SCRA 511)

The felony committed is not the proximate cause of the resulting injury when: (a) there is an active force that intervened between the felony committed and the resulting injury, and the active force is a distinct act or fact absolutely foreign from the felonious act of the accused; or (b) the resulting injury is due to the intentional act of the victim.

If a person inflicts a wound with a deadly weapon in such a manner as to put life in jeopardy and death follows as a consequence of their felonious act, it does not alter its nature or diminish its criminality to prove that other causes cooperated in producing the factual result. The offender is criminally liable for the death of the victim if his delictual act caused, accelerated or contributed to the death of the victim.
A different doctrine would tend to give immunity to crime and to take away from human life a salutary and essential safeguard. The Supreme Court has emphasized that, amid the conflicting theories of medical men, and the uncertainties attendant upon the treatment of bodily ailments and injuries, it would be easy in many cases of homicide to raise a doubt as to the immediate cause of death, and thereby to open a wide door by which persons guilty of the highest crime might escape conviction and punishment.

A person committing a felony is criminally liable for all the natural and logical consequences resulting therefrom although the wrongful act done be different from that which he intended.

"Natural" refers to an occurrence in the ordinary course of human life or events, while "logical" means that there is a rational connection between the act of the accused and the resulting injury or damage. The felony committed must be the proximate cause of the resulting injury. Proximate cause is that cause which in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by an efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred. The proximate legal cause is that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately, or by setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate predecessor.