Prescription for Death

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"Prescription for Death"
Law & Order episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 1
Directed by John P. Whitesell II
Story by David Black
Ed Zuckerman
Teleplay by Ed Zuckerman
Produced by Robert Palm
David Sackheim
Editing by Drake Silliman
Original air date September 13, 1990 (1990-09-13)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Subterranean Homeboy Blues"
Law & Order (season 1)

"Prescription for Death" is the first episode of the long-running crime drama television series Law & Order. It was aired on September 13, 1990. Although it was the first episode of the series to air, it is not the pilot. The pilot episode, "Everybody's Favorite Bagman", which was filmed two years prior to the rest of the first season, was aired as the sixth episode.[1] It is based upon the death of Libby Zion.


Suzanne Morton dies after a visit to a hospital emergency room during a hectic night shift. Her father (John Spencer), a former medic in Vietnam, accuses the hospital of negligence and demands a police investigation. Logan and Greevey question a doctor who made adjustments to her chart, but are soon led to the respected Dr. Edward Auster, who they feel may have been drunk on duty. The other residents are reluctant to speak for fear their jobs may be in jeopardy, and Stone is faced with the awkward job of prosecuting a revered physician.