Health care systems often seem hobbled by rules and scrubbed clean of personality. Life Support displays their warmer, messier human side by trailing three outspoken nurses on their rounds. One works with cancer patients, another with homebound elderly, while a third mediates between patients and families, doctors and nurses. Between glimpses of large and small life dramas, author Suzanne Gordon (Prisoners of Men's Dreams) considers prejudice and ignorance about nursing. Does lack of ambition or intelligence bar nurses from medical school? Why is their care denigrated, while doctors are elevated? How will sweeping changes in health care affect them and, ultimately, us? Her responses are provocative and far-ranging.