Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it gets better. Take my wife. We were driving home and my wife happens to tell me of a Repeat she saw on television. She had wanted to tell me about it before but forgot and so seeing it again reminded her.

The program was House, M.D. The quirky, crabby old genius of a doctor (Dr. Gregory House) played by a very talented British actor, Hugh Laurie. Dr. House is kept on the staff at this hospital despite his cantankerous ways because he practices a kind of forensic medicine; he attempts to find the problem when diagnosis eludes everyone else.

Anyway, in this episode which my wife was relating to me and which I later saw, Dr. House needs to treat a sick woman carrying a sick “fetus” inside of her. House, a cynical man if there ever was one, tells the woman emphatically not to have the baby. That “fetus” he said “is killing you” and he said it may very well kill her. He refuses to call the baby inside of its mother anything but a “fetus,” except for a “blob” once or twice. The mother refuses. “I will not have an abortion!” the mother insisted more than once. House is disgusted by this pro-lifer willing to die for the blob.

Finally it is determined the “fetus'” kidney or liver wasn’t functioning and the mother is jaundice, dying. House and his boss, Dr. Lisa Cuddy, decide to perform surgery on the blob within its mother. Dr. Cuddy believes it is a baby not a blob

And, lo, in the midst of the operation, the baby’s little hand comes out and grabs Dr. House’s bloody finger. Even the fingernail was conspicuous. Needless to say Dr. House is shocked, bewildered, awestruck; his eyes were so emotionally expressive, moving. The operating team after a minute, observing the emotional scene, had to nudge him to continue with the surgery. There was no delivery, because only surgery was intended.

After the operation House visits the mother in her room. He looks at the mother’s stomach and back at the mother. He tells her, “You and your baby are doing fine now”. The woman looked at him and said, “You know, this is the first time you called him a baby”. And again the camera focuses on House’s mesmerizing emotional eyes…as he walks out of the room.

(Picture below from the actual event that the episode is likely based on and which took place at Vanderbilt University, 1999; Michael Clancy photographer)

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