Watched House, a new medical drama starring Hugh Laurie, for the first time last night.
Laurie is very, very good as a brilliant but highly misanthropic diagnostician at a large hospital. ("Obviously, I don't like you. But that's okay; I don't like anybody.")
However, the writing on the episode...
The story centered around a high-strung fashion executive who suffered sudden paralysis and extreme pain in her leg. After numerous tests, dead ends, and further complications, Dr. House is able to deduce that she has congestive heart failure, and needs a heart transplant, pronto.
But... the reason such a young person's heart is failing is that she is a chronic bulimic (and self-cutter), who's been using ipecac syrup to induce vomiting regularly. And the repeated dosing of ipecac has the side effect of causing muscle (i.e., heart) damage. And that behavior means she would be psychiatrically ineligible for a heart transplant.
So House lies to the hospital's transplant committee. The girl gets her new heart. (Almost immediately. Yeah, that happens.)
Besides being brilliant and irascible, House is supposed to highly, highly ethical. A real prick about the behavior of other doctors and the hospital in general.
So he lets someone technically disqualified from a transplant get one anyway. Which means that some other person, some person who does meet the criteria for a transplant, won't get the heart that was put into the fashion executive's chest.
As written, House let someone else, someone never actually seen or named, die in order to save a person with a compulsion towards self-mutilation and self-damage.
What were the writers thinking?
To be true to the character, the episode should have had House making sure that the executive did NOT receive the transplant. I would have made one of the young doctors training under House (I don't remember the characters' names, so I'll refer to them as The White Guy, The Black Guy, and The Female Guy) be the one trying to save the (young, good-looking) fashionista's life, and end up overruled by House.
The episode also had a subplot featuring a man unable to speak, with an undiagnosed case of spastic dysphonia. So House goes to the man (who is not even his patient!), distracts him, and sticks a syringeful of Botox into his throat!
Any doctor who gave unagreed-to treatment to a patient, especially some other doctor's patient, would be escorted off the hospital grounds by Security, and not allowed back. As the substory was written, House wasn't acting like a brilliant doctor, he was acting like a public menace.
The character, as portrayed by Laurie, has immense potential. But, jeez, what ARE the writers thinking?