The 6th Ordinary Meeting f the 165th session of the Literific took place on the 7th of November in the Senate Room. It was attended by about 80 members, Idk, there were a lot. We were joined by the University of Ulster for a war between universities and our guest chair Professor Neil McClure who I’ll definitely be mentioning again.
President Kydd had a few announcements as per usual, Private Member’s Business made us look stupid for not going for the PWC thingy (oops) and there were no President’s Questions.
Professor McClure ‘set the scene’ by explaining a bit about genetics. There was a little bit of UU hating.
The motion was This House Would Ban Designer Babies.
Paddy Mallon opened the debate representing QUB. He brought up the eugenics as the inevitable extreme of allowing designer babies and believed it is wrong for parents to decide the qualities of their child. He urged the House to embrace natural differences as designer babies would doom our society.
Greene from UU opposed the motion. He asked for a restriction for genetic engineering but not a complete ban. He spoke of the advantages of legalising it for medical uses for carriers of a disease who may choose not to have children for fear of passing it on.
Aisha Sobey continued for the proposition. She talked of the pressure on these designer babies to fulfil their predetermined role and how this was cruel. She went on to explain that designer babies would only be an option for the rich, resulting in an elite ruling class.
Catterson, speaking for the opposition, focused of the law aspect of the motion. He questioned the right of politicians to take the moral decision from the parent. He talked of our right to freedom and that we could not force a decision on a parent.
Nathan Cantley asked the House how far? He explained that since many genetic disorders are connected to the environment it would not be possible to fully get rid of genetic disorders. He also went on to say that restrictions on genetic engineering would not stand in practice if parents are adamant.
Thomas highlighted the need for genetic engineering for medical use as it would be a great tool to prevent future suffering. It could rectify faulty genes and also opens the possibility for donor babies. She argued that a donor baby could save the life of its sibling and alleviate some pain.
James McAlister asked the House to consider the parents in Toddlers and Tiaras and the implications that would result if they actually had a say in what their child would look like before it was born. He commented that these designer babies would either suffer from low self-esteem or would have a false sense of superiority, e.g. a generation of douchebags.
Smyth closed the argument for the opposition. She mentioned the rise in IVF and that the child rate has fallen below the replacement rate. She explained that genetic engineering could remove some of the strain on the NHS in the future and would also prevent pain and suffering.
The debate then went to the floor. Questions were heard from Harry Adair, Vincent Wooding, Charlie Barnes and Anthony Mimna.
We then got to hear from Professor McClure again who was really kind of mean to everyone, it was beautiful and sassy.
The motion then went to a vote and passed 34 to 32.