Mike Boudreaux, as a trauma surgeon Chief of Service, must discipline an impaired surgeon for performing unnecessary and dangerous surgery for the obese. He is Boudreaux's former teacher and mentor, and Boudreaux falls in love with his young, beautiful, New Orleans-socially-prominent wife. Boudreaux cannot hide the adulterous affair that erodes his career authority and reputation. Family and society reject the woman he loves unconditionally; when she moves in with Boudreaux, her rebellious daughter disappears. As Boudreaux tries to retrieve and convince the daughter to support her mother, the jealous husband's surgical career declines; a young patient dies; the public is outraged. The crazed husband blames his wife and Boudreaux for his decline and threatens violent revenge. The couple plans marriage and strains to regain pride and confidence amidst the hostility of accusatory taunts of friends, family and society.