First Do No Harm
Season 05, Episode 21
Air Date April 16, 1998
Previous Murder at the Finish Line
Next Promises to Keep

First Do No Harm is the twenty-first episode of Diagnosis Murder's fifth season which was first broadcast on April 16, 1998.

Plot Edit

When a young girl is rushed into the hospital in need of immediate treatment, but dies due to a HMO's negligence, Dr. Travis and Community General are sued for negligence. Dr. Sloan must choose between his ethical convictions and the hospital.

Summary Edit

Unlike most episodes, this one has no deliberate killing. Instead, doctors Mark Sloan and Jesse Travis refuse to accept the grave medical consequences -such as medically irresponsible delays and refusal of necessary therapy- for non-affluent patients of the virtually exclusive medical circuits (ambulance, treatment facilities etc.) imposed by so-called HMOs, a type of medical insurance, which puts medical staff in an impossible position between budget-orientated rules, malpractice claims and Hippocratic conscience. A few fatal cases lead to law-suits and an arbitration procedure with serious financial stakes.


  • Dick Van Dyke as Mark Sloan
  • Victoria Rowell as Amanda Bentley
  • Charlie Schlatter as Jesse Travis
  • Barry Van Dyke as Steve Sloan
  • Kevin McNally as EMT
  • Alan Oppenheimer as Dr. Leonard Gould
  • Jason Schombing as Melvin Pinter
  • Richard Fancy as Harold 'Hal' Lomax
  • Nancy Youngblut as Nurse Nancy Rush
  • Neil Dickson as Dr. Arthur Holbine
  • Davenia McFadden as Betty Pearson
  • Paul Picemi as Judge Kenyon
  • Bianca Rossini as Lena Rizzoli
  • Debra Sharkey as Andrea Turner
  • Kimberly Moss as Thelma
  • Gavin Glennon as Trent Erdman
  • Damara Reilly as HMO Attorney