Fr David Garcia said that an alternative to abortion is adoption.

A seminar to discuss and clarify the medical and ethical aspects of Zika infection was held on Sept 17.

The event was organised by the Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore.

Fr David Garcia, its spiritual director, and Dr John Hui, chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission for the Family (ACF), were the speakers at the seminar titled “Heart Issues, Hard Decisions: Ethical dilemmas in Zika Virus Infection”.

Such an infection during pregnancy can sometimes cause microcephaly in a small number of unborn children. Microcephaly is a congenital condition where babies are born with a much smaller head size than usual.

Noting this in his talk, Fr Garcia said that certain questions such as “would it be better to relieve the baby of suffering if I knew it would have a physical or mental impairment? Would I be able to care for it?” were valid concerns raised in the minds of couples.

Dr John Hui gave a summary of the symptoms of Zika infection.

For those who do not want to raise such a child, he urged them to consider alternatives to abortion one of which was giving their child for adoption.

A participant then asked him why someone would want a child who is physically or mentally deformed.

“There are couples out there who would give an arm or leg to have a child,” replied Fr David.

He added that he has met many such couples.

Dr Hui, in his talk, gave a summary of the symptoms of the Zika virus. These include fever, rash, sore eyes and muscle

Zika is transmitted through means such as sexual activity or the Aedes mosquito,” he said.

Although the chances of getting infected during sexual activity are lower when using a condom (which the Church does not approve of), Dr Hui stressed that there are still no guarantees. 

By Jared Ng
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