How Good Is E.R.'s Rx?

The season finale highlights a speedy new way to detoxify addicts but broadcasts the wrong message

Most TV viewers tune in to medical dramas like E.R. and Chicago Hope for the drama, not the medicine. But it's hard not to pick up a little medical lore along the way. Take the final episode of E.R., for example, in which George Clooney, in his role as Dr. Doug Ross, faced censure for his unauthorized use of a procedure called ultrarapid opiate detoxification on a tiny patient--an infant born to a heroin-addicted mother. After a harrowing all-night vigil, during which the infant hovered near death, the detoxification was a success and the baby drug-free. Grateful and overjoyed, the mother...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!