"Second Opinion"
L&O, Episode 5.01
Production number: 69408
First aired: 21 September 1994
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
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Kincaid Second Opinion
Written By
Michael S. Chernuchin & Jeremy R. Littman

Directed By
Ed Sherin

McCoy and Kincaid bring up murder charges against a woman who provided questionable alternative treatments for women with breast cancer.




Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast




There are two types of women. Those who have breast cancer, and those who are scared to death of getting it.

–Anita Van Buren

Haas tells one patient she's got a cure, it's a little white lie. She tells 2 patients, it's unforgivable. She tells 3 patients, she's a murderer. She tells 4 patients, she's a damn murderer, and it's all admissible!

–Jack McCoy

Background information and notes

  • Jack McCoy's first appearance on Law & Order.
  • This episode was inspired by the controversy surrounding the use of laetrile to treat cancer. Laetrile was a substance offered as an alternative treatment to cancer in the 1950's. It contained a substance called amygdalin, which is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in plants, but most notably in the seeds (kernels) of apricot, bitter almonds, apple, peach, and plum. Amygdalin is classified as a cyanogenic glycoside, which is basically a sugar molecule bound with a cyanogen, a precursor to cyanide. When ingested the chemical changes amygdalin undergoes during digestion can cause it to release hydrogen cyanide, which is the most toxic type of cyanide. Since the early 1950's, both amygdalin and a modified form named laetrile have been promoted as alternative cancer treatments, often using the misnomer vitamin B17. It was banned in the United States and most other countries shortly after due to a large number of deaths from cyanide poisoning.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

St. Andrew's Academy
663 E. 73rd Street
Wednesday, June 23

Apartment of
Nicholas & Ann Bennett
405 West 81st Street
Thursday, June 24

Bennett's Antiques
1350 Columbus Avenue
Tuesday, June 29

4 5 6

Dr. Alan Friedland's Office
560 West 91st Street
Monday, July 12

Office of the
Medical Examiner's
Wednesday, July 21

Toxicology Lab
Friday, July 30

7 8 9 10

Marilee's Boutique
2811/2 Madison Avenue
Monday, August 9

Research Laboratory
Oncology Department
Thursday, August 12

Supreme Court
Part 68
Tuesday, September 20

Office of the D.A.
Conference Room
Wednesday, September 22

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"Second Opinion"
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