More than ever before, the legal system plays a vital role in virtually every aspect of the current health care system. From the congressional debate over patients' rights legislation to judicial rulings on the denial of health care services, the legal system is integrally involved in the organization, financing, and delivery of health care. This book explains how the legal system helps shape health care delivery and policy, explores new ways of looking at the relationship between law and medicine, and reflects on why it all matters. The story focuses on the judicial response to the advent of managed care, especially challenges to cost containment initiatives, and shows how the legal system has facilitated managed care's dominance over the health care system. An equally important part of the story is the evolution of the relationship between physicians and attorneys and how their mutual antagonism affects patient care. In the end, the stories come together around a strategy for reconciling the difficult health policy choices the country faces and for restoring the physician-patient relationship to the center of health care delivery.