In the first half of this episode we explore new research into public opinion around polygenic embryo screening. This technology allows people undergoing IVF to see what genes each potential embryo has and then choose to reimplant the one with the ‘best’ genetic make-up. But is it wise or healthy for parents to be able to effectively choose their child’s hair colour, height, psychological attributes or propensity for certain diseases? What do ordinary Americans in a survey think of this possibility, and how much would they pay to be able to exercise this kind of power of their own children?

Then we look at a news story in Britain, about the multi-billion pound bill the National Health Service now pays in compensation to parents whose children were brain damaged during birth. Is this a worrying sign of how poor NHS maternity care can be, or simply a sad reminder that pregnancy and labour remain complex and risky medical procedures? And are the law courts the best avenue for parents of disabled children to pursue both justice and the money necessary to provide lifelong care?