Saturday, October 9, 2010

House 7.3: The Author and the White Lie

A fine House 7.3 on Fox last Monday, in which House treats Alice Tanner, author of the Jack Cannon: Boy Detective series, a favorite of House's, just as Tom Swift was a favorite of many people in our real world.  The difference is that Victor Appleton, the author of the Tom Swift series, was a pseudonym for more than one author, whereas Alice Tanner in the fictional House is a real woman.  Not only that, she wants not only her series but her life to end.

Since House loves her books, he has a better motivation than usual to save Alice, against all odds.  But the problem this time is not only physical but psychological - Alice has based her boy detective on her own son, who died in a car crash.  She blames herself, with a view now towards joining her son as the only way she can make things right between her and the universe.   If House lets her leave the hospital, she'll soon take her own life, negating whatever cure House had given her.  But he can't keep her in the hospital against her will.

House's solution is to feign autopsy results - of Jack, Alice's real son - which show he had an aneurysm, which would have killed him in a week or two if there had been no car crash.   Alice believes this, is at peace, at last, and no longer wants to kill herself.  She says she's finished writing Jack Cannon books, but at least she's alive, is likely to stay that way for a while, and while there's life there's hope.

So House has once again used a daring, unorthodox treatment to save his patient - give her a white lie, to get her off the hook of guilt which is driving her to suicide.   Was House ethically right to do this?

Hell, yes.   It's worth a lie to save a life.   Or, in these cases, life is more important than telling the truth.

See also House and Cuddy on the Other Side in Season 7 Premiere ... House 7.2: House and Cuddy, Chapter 2

And see also House Reborn in Season Six? ... 6.2: The Gang is Back and Fractured ... 6.3: The Saving Hitler Quandary ... 6.4: Diagnosis vs. Karma ... 6.5 Getting Better ... 6.6 House Around the Bases ... Four's a Crowd on House 6.7 ... House 6.8 and the Reverse of Flowers for Algernon ... House 6.9: Wilson ... House 6.10: Back in Business ... House 6.11: Making Amends, Mending Fences, and a Psychopath  ... House 6.12: The Progression to Mensch ... House 6.13: Cuddy's Perspective ... House Meets Blogger in 6.14 ... House 6.15: About Taub ... House 6.16: Revealing Couples ... House 6.17: Socrates on Steroids ... House 6.18: Open Marriage

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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