I WAS very concerned to read that Dr Kevin Smith, from Abertay University in Dundee, believed that creating genetically modified babies was ethically justifiable and even highly desirable ("Designer baby revolution is less than two years away, research suggests", The Herald, November 19). But what he is suggesting cannot be considered as a form of therapy – no child would be ever be treated with gene therapy in his proposal. In fact, what Dr Smith is recommending is a form of selective eugenics whereby only certain children (with healthy genes) are brought into existence while others (with unhealthy genes) are not.

However, this would completely undermine the concept of absolute equality in value and worth of all children in society. Indeed, by saying that certain disabled children (with a genetic disorder) should not exist, one is also stating that certain disabled existing children (who are alive right now with the same disorder) should not have existed. And no civilised society can ever give such a message.

Of course, some children have very short lives of suffering, and other have very long and successful lives, but how can any society indicate that these children are not absolutely equal in value and in worth?

For a society to remain a civilised, therefore, such selective eugenics procedures should always be rejected.

Dr Calum MacKellar, Director of Research, Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, Edinburgh EH10.

Prince Andrew should be sacked

FOLLOWING Prince Andrew's amnesia-ridden interview he states his intention to carry on regardless with his royal duties. Surely the Palace administrator of these "duties " should counsel him on the suitability of so doing, not merely from his own perspective but that of the Royal Household.

His lack of remorse and contrition by way of association in this shameful affair makes it untenable for him to continue in any royal ambassadorial role.

Allan C Steele, Giffnock.

AM I alone in being astonished about the waste of time on the media about Andrew-Mountbatten-Windsor? Have we nothing better to do but listen to this nonsense?

Hamish Kirk, Isle of Bute.

West Bank danger

THE Trump administration has reversed a decades-old policy on the legality of West Bank settlements, saying it no longer considers them inconsistent with international law. This will allow for Israel to annex Palestinian land without any stricture from its main supporter. However, it will render any two-state solution impracticable for the Palestinians, especially as Israel also wants to annex the Jordan Valley. Palestine will be reduced to a few isolated “Bantustans”, policed by the Israeli army and without rights.

If I were a Palestinian leader, I would insist that Palestinians should now be recognised as citizens of what is fast becoming “Greater Israel”, with the same political, social and economic rights as Israelis. What have they got to lose, and how could the Israeli government deny them that status, on the land they have always lived on? The truth is, if they were to go to the UN and insist on Israeli citizenship today, they might get offered a two-state solution tomorrow.

GR Weir, Ochiltree.

So, thanks

THANKS To Barry Lees (Letters, November 19) for pointing out the maddening misuse of the word "so" in broadcasting and elsewhere. I thought it was just me being a grumpy old git.

John Love Glasgow G5.