Saturday, April 2, 2011

HOUSE (as in the doctor and the FOX TV show)

Just saw a repeat of an old "House" show, first broadcast on November 23, 2004.
A 16-year old lacrosse player starts suffering from double vision, night terrors and frequent hallucinations after being struck in the head. House and his team must diagnose the mystery brain condition which is causing all these symptoms before it progresses to a fatal stage.
House had first dismissed the symptoms as concussion and then suggests that the cause might be post-traumatic stress due to sexual abuse. But then he notices Dan's foot twitch with a myoclonic jerk which normally only occurs when falling asleep. He immediately admits Dan and starts diagnosis with his team.
House claims that Dan's father isn't his true biological father and makes a bet with Foreman about it. Soon after, Dan has another night terror. None of the tests show why the night terror occurred, but House finds a large blockage in one of Dan's brain ventricles. House and his team relieve the pressure as fast as they can, but they find that the blockage isn't what is causing the other symptoms. It is in fact a symptom itself.

During the night, Dan is found missing from his bed. Cameron, Chase, and Foreman search frantically to find him, soon locating him on the roof, where he is hallucinating that he is on the lacrosse field. Chase tackles him just before he steps over the edge of the building. House is excited by this new development — it rules out House's previous diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The new diagnosis provided by Cameron is neurosyphilis. To treat this, they inject penicillin directly into Dan's brain, but during an injection, Dan suffers an auditory hallucination, which rules out this diagnosis. House is stumped by this new development, and admits his problems to Wilson. Dan's parents are angered to discover House having coffee with Wilson while their son is dying, but House rebukes them with his intimate knowledge of Dan's current condition. He tells them to go and support Dan, after which he takes their coffee cups to run DNA tests to decide his bet on Dan's paternity. The tests show that neither parent is biologically related to Dan.

House thinks that infant Dan caught the basic measles virus from his biological mother (who possibly had never been vaccinated) that had mutated, remained latent for 16 years, and reappeared in his brain. Avoiding a dangerous brain biopsy to confirm this unusual case, they biopsy Dan's retina to find the virus, confirming House's diagnosis of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.
House confronts the parents really angry that they withheld the fact that their son was adopted when giving his medical history.  House says to them: "did you think I was asking for his medical history or for who loves him the most?"
Turns out the kid's problem stemmed from his birth mom not being vaccinated - something that was not in the medical history they were given. Also turns out the kid knew he was adopted since 5th grade. They ask how he knew. He said cause he has a cleft chin. Funny - Dr. House's team didn't notice that all the while they speculated as to whether the father was the biological father or not and looked at the way their eyes were flecked similarly!!


Sona said...

I always wonder if one of their writers is adopted. Kutner (played by Kal Penn) was a TRA and killed himself in the show. He wasn't ever shown as depressed, but rather happy and well adjusted. That's a pretty realistic view of adoption for someone who isn't familiar with adoption.

Then their boss, Dr Cuddy adopted a baby as well after failed infertility procedures.

Mirah Riben said...

It's a fairly common subject of many shows - as now is surrogacy (ECH!). It especially works well in medical dramas, though this episode was criticized for the fact that in the end it was the natural mother not being vaccinated, but he never asked the a-mom if she was when she was the alleged mother and he was only questioning the father being the "real" father! And, they suspected but never noticed the cleft chin. It's not the best written show. There are LOTS of errors, especially medically to make it "work" for the show. Wht's a TRA?

Anonymous said...

Just saw a repeat of an old wikipedia entry

RussiaToday Apr 29, 2010 on Russian Adoption Freeze

Russi Today: America television Interview 4/16/10 Regarding the Return of Artyem, 7, to Russia alone

RT: Russia-America TV Interview 3/10

Korean Birthmothers Protest to End Adoption

Motherhood, Adoption, Surrender, & Loss

Who Am I?

Bitter Winds

Adoption and Truth Video

Adoption Truth

Birthparents Never Forget