One in this series of medical dramas about the personal and professional lives of the staff of the state-of-the-art Chicago Hope Hospital and the ethical dilemmas they face. In this episode, an angry and distracted Nyland gets into a serious car crash, while elsewhere Austin treats renowned author Norman Cambridge, whose body, she discovers, is rejecting his heart transplant due to heroin use. McNeil is exasperated with Karen's "sprucing up" of his home, and as the doctors work frantically to save their colleague, Kronk angrily blames Wilkes for causing Nyland the distress that led to the accident. Austin updates Watters about their famous patient, and Shutt sternly scolds two nurses for making tactless jokes near a comatose Nyland, reminding them that he may be able to hear them and gently assuring Nyland that he will make a full recovery. McNeil resumes his dangerous gambling as Cambridge offers Austin some "deathbed advice," telling her to truly "see the faces" of her patients when she helps them.

At a transplant meeting, Austin strongly pushes for Cambridge to receive a new heart despite his advanced age and purposeful drug use, arguing that his status as an influential, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer does indeed make him more "worthy" than another candidate, though Porter and Shutt disagree. Grad suggests an "alternate heart" transplant – meaning a lesser-quality organ that will merely buy him a few years – and Austin quickly agrees. Wilkes states that he needs to be "pushed" in order to improve as a doctor. Grad decides to throw a party in Nyland's room in order to urge him back to consciousness with positive vibes, and Kronk observes as McNeil recklessly loses thousands of dollars at cards and even briefly considers staging a fake injury in order to score more cash from a potential lawsuit. Karen, however, obliviously believes his story of having been mugged.

When Cambridge's operation starts to go south, Austin suggests a daring "piggyback" surgery, in which he will actually have two separate heartbeats, and an annoyed Hancock fends off reporters who are desperate for updates on the famous writer's status. Shutt questions McNeil about his obvious addiction, though McNeil promises that his self-destructive behavior will never extend to harming a patient, and Shutt is elated when Nyland moves his feet, suggesting that he is not paralyzed, as they feared. Austin is crushed when, despite her best efforts, Cambridge dies in surgery, and she thanks him for his important advice and bids him farewell. Grad's plan seems to work as Nyland briefly awakens during the party in his room, and Shutt and the others greet him with reassurances that he is on the mend. Commercials deleted.


  • DATE: 10:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:44:51
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 119590
  • GENRE: Drama, medical
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Drama, medical
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV series, 1994-2000


  • John Tinker … Executive Producer
  • Bill D'Elia … Executive Producer
  • James C. Hart … Supervising Producer
  • Tim Kring … Producer
  • Dawn Prestwich … Producer
  • Nicole Yorkin … Producer
  • Rob Corn … Producer
  • John Heath … Producer
  • Dean White … Associate Producer
  • Jesus Treviño … Director
  • Ian Biederman … Writer
  • David E. Kelley … Created by
  • Jeff Rona … Music by
  • Mark Isham … Theme Music by
  • Adam Arkin … Cast, Dr. Aaron Shutt
  • Christine Lahti … Cast, Dr. Kathryn (Kate) Austin
  • Peter Berg … Cast, Dr. Billy Kronk
  • Thomas Gibson … Cast, Dr. Daniel Nyland
  • Vondie Curtis-Hall … Cast, Dr. Dennis Hancock
  • Jayne Brook … Cast, Dr. Diane Grad
  • Rocky Carroll … Cast, Dr. Keith Wilkes
  • Mark Harmon … Cast, Dr. Jack McNeil
  • Hector Elizondo … Cast, Dr. Phillip Watters
  • Kathryn Harrold … Cast, Dr. Karen Wilder
  • Fran Bennett … Cast, Dr. Andrea Porter
  • Joyce Guy … Cast, Nurse Virginia Pine
  • McNally Sagal … Cast, Nurse Jennifer Cole
  • Mark Chaet … Cast, Ernie
  • Nigel Gibbs … Cast, Joe
  • Randy Thompson … Cast, Medical Examiner
  • Maggie Murphy … Cast, Herself
  • Seymour Cassel … Cast, Norman Cambridge
  • Stu Charno … Cast, Dr. Lloyd Chernow
  • Helena Lewis … Cast, Paramedic #1
  • John Cappon … Cast, Paramedic #2
  • Rosie Malek-Yonan … Cast, Reporter #1
  • Luis Torres … Cast, Reporter #2
  • Donna M. Duffy … Cast, O.R. Nurse