Doctors and Rules is a unique and immensely scholarly book. It draws on material which has informed our civilization, including many of the social sciences-history, sociology, and psychology, as well as law. The author accesses the current importance of the Hippocratic tradition within medicine, and puts forward various models of its practice. He seeks to expose the often inarticulated foundation of contemporary debates about the law, medicine, and health, and to question some common assumptions of the functionsand structures of social and legal order. The book challenges the idea that legal rules should be respected merely because they exist and because they play a part in centralizing the organization of society. It rejects the notion that the courts always, or even often, offer useful mechanisms for defining and settling disputes. On the contrary, the author sees in their formalism many things which hinder the common cause of humanity. Only a skeptic trained in law but also deeply concerned by our fate and circumstances could have produced it. It also contributes both to the sociology of law and the sociology of medicine. Out of a reassertion of old ways, this book presents a new blueprint for future professional conduct. It is rich in questions and ideas for researchers, teachers, and professionals in the fields of law, medical sociology, and medicine and generally for those concerned with the place of professional conduct.