Oberarzt der Anaesthesie, Stack. Krankenhaus, D-W-7850 Lorrach, Germany Medicine in general and emergency medicine in particular has been blessed by an increasing amount of guidelines, which describe inductive measures for most emergencies, to be carried out by attending physicians or paramedics. Although these guidelines originally were seen as a tool for making a decision in certain emergencies, in recent years they have gained a much stronger position. But, this is associated with important, though largely ignored disadvantages. The intent of guideline-makers is die best—to prevent classical mistakes, mostly repeated by newcomers in the profession. However, such guidelines have been used by lawyers in their unselfish fight for their clients, formerly our patients. The judge may confirm a guideline's demand, thereby raising it nearly to the authority of law (in the absence of lawmakers' opinions). In fact, you could have treated your patient better than the guidelines prescribe by using your own standard with less risk to his or her health, but if you followed the guidelines, no one will blame you.