The book begins by placing clinical guidelines within the context of the broader movement towards evidence based practice; it explores the concept of evidence, and defines clinical guidelines and care protocols. These are then examined in the clinical situation. The book goes on to discuss the relationship between them and the exercise of individual autonomy and expertise, and with individualised care and patient involvement and choice. The influence of cost on decision making is reviewed, and a chapter discusses the political aspects of care guidelines and protocols. Finally the book describes the implementation of guidelines and protocols and the barriers to implementation, and makes suggestions for the future.