Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Calling Doctor House

My wife’s favorite show is “House.” I like it too, I like Hugh Laurie, I always loved Fry & Laurie’s droll English humor, and he was a great Bertie Wooster (again with Mr. Fry). It does not surprise me that someone our age could be so taken with this show.

The show itself is consistently entertaining, but there’s a much greater attraction at work here. Each episode is the story of heroic, brilliant doctors solving almost impenetrable medical problems that present in patients who vary from rich to indigent. All of the problems are neatly solved in one hour, and there never seems to be any mention at all of billing. The no billing part, that’s the miraculous aspect.

Are you an American citizen, dear reader? Do you happen to live in that God besotted country? Can you imagine a universe in which difficult medical problems can be handled with such aplomb, without reference to money? A universe without the need for healthy people to worry about coming down with something that will wipe them out and ruin their families, probably in addition to killing them? A universe, at least, that is not commonly known as “France?”

It is comforting to vacation in a dream world where doctors are dedicated, helpful professionals; where severe medical afflictions are not financial deal-breakers; where medical providers are not money hungry “death panels;” where life is a child’s fantasy of hope.

So, we watch House.


Anonymous said...

Hugh Laurie is great. He just turned 50, but looks older because those Brits don't age well. He also had bit parts in the Rowan Atkins comedy series "Black Adder."
I like "House" too... but realize the doctors will guess like crazy for 55 minutes before almost always making the right obscure diagnosis in the last 5. And I want to know where that hospital exists where I can get 7 or 8 doctors to focus exclusively on my case 24/7. That is the most miraculous aspect to me, aside from the cpmplete lack of financial reality, as you so precisely make note of. And why doesn't House get punched out--or worse--more often by the patients he treats so obnoxiously?
It is, indeed, a fantasy show. Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare were more down-to-earth. Life, Death, Man, Woman, Infinity.

fred c said...

Another thing about doctors is that they wait to become useful until they're afraid that you will die. Their first inquiry is: will this person die (almost immediately)? If they answer is no, they just yawn and start to guess. In this the show is fairly accurate.