IVF always arouses strong and sometimes conflicting passions in the media. Either it is a fundamental right that should be more widely available on the NHS, or it is unsafe, costly and should never have been invented.
This week the balance seems to have tilted towards the negative.
The Independent reported that women and children were being put at risk by aggressive fertility treatments such as high-cost drugs.
These, it suggested, can over-stimulate the ovaries and, in extreme cases, lead to kidney failure and death.
Milder methods use fewer drugs, are cheaper but have a lower success rate per cycle, the paper said.
But the Daily Mail had two stories which shed light on the financial costs of IVF. Thousands of Cambridge University students are being offered £750 to donate their eggs while a couple who run a leading fertility clinic received a £25m dividend from their company in 2010.
The start of the Royal College of Nursing congress is always a time for dire warnings and there was widespread coverage of concerns that nurses were being stretched to breaking point, with jobs going and a “revolving door” for patients between acute hospitals and community provision.
The Sun highlighted patients left waiting on trolleys in A&E – on average waiting more than six hours, it said.
The Daily Telegraph reported on NHS procurement of IT, suggesting the NHS would do better to turn to Amazon – which sells 4GB memory sticks for less than £6, while the NHS pays £10.50.
Finally, the worst headline of the week was surely on the Sun online. “NHS shake-up hush-up blast” referred to the refusal to publish the transitional risk register, although many readers must have been confused.