The series explores heated topics like homosexuality, incest, infidelity, drug abuse, rape, kidnapping, mental illness, teen pregnancy, and death in a thoughtful, if overly dramatized, manner. Rarely are there clear-cut answers to the moral and legal questions raised in the stories, but it does a good job of presenting multiple sides to each dilemma, which encourages viewers to ponder the issues themselves.
Surgical procedures are shown in graphic detail, and when episodes deal with violent content like rape, assault, and attempted murder, these acts are shown as well. Victims are battered and bloodied, and many characters -- including at least one main character -- die.
Kissing, fondling, making out, and foreplay are common, and some scenes briefly show simulated sex. Years of revolving relationships mean that most of the characters have slept with at least a couple of their peers, making for some tangled webs of lust and angst, and sexual tension and bedroom antics are used throughout as plot development devices.
"Ass," "hell," and "damn" are commonly used.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters are shown drinking alcohol in social situations and for relaxation at home, but it's usually in moderation. Drug use is a common topic in this medical-themed show, and some main characters are former drug addicts.