Letter: 'Designer' babies: false concerns, researchers' arrogance, threat to life

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Sir: James Fenton asks: 'To what atavistic metaphysics are we supposed to subscribe, to believe that a child is a gift?' (3 January). Mine for a start. Also that of any civilisation worthy of the name. It is the 'atavistic metaphysics' of a large number of people in this society, though not, of course, of the society itself, which is why the latter permits the killing of children while still in the protection of their mothers' wombs.

The premise that life itself is the unmerited gift is also the basis of all great poetry.

Yours faithfully,


London, SW18

1 January