Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The True Sacrifice

In a recent episode of House, Small Sacrifices. The team has to decide between faith and science. A man is admitted to Princeton Plainsboro after reenacting the Crucifixion. The patient stated he crucified himself as bargain he made with God for curing his daughter's brain cancer. Doctors break into the patient's apartment to see what could be causing the symptoms of illness and see he has been starving himself. The patient refuses the treatment because it used embryonic stem cells and did not want to break the promise he made to God to save his daughter. Later House visits the patient and tells him that the yearly CT scans that his daughter received were unable to detect tiny spots of remaining tumor and the PET scans he did revealed them. He stated that the patient should receive the treatment because God had already broken the bargain. Resentful, the patient agrees. Later on, House reveals that he lied about his daughter PET scan, but that the patient is still recovering. Instead of losing his faith, the patient uses that as proof that, even after accepting stem cell treatment, God did not punish him proves that God is merciful and all about love.

When I first started watching this episode it started to make me nervous because lately television has been very anti- Christian. It helped me feel a little bit reassured that not all shows are fully anti-God. I did not fully agree with the man crucifying himself because the Bible states that when Jesus was on the Cross he paid for everyone’s sins. I wonder how this episode of House will make people think of Christians. More importantly how will this episode affect Christians? Are we strong enough to trust God when friends or family or even us are in near death situations? God may not always give us what we want but he gives us what we need. We need to be strong in the truth.


  1. I watched this episode too. I was nervous as well because it seemed that the Christian's views were somewhat fickle, but at the same time when dealing with stressful situations we adjust our beliefs and sometimes come out with new ones. However, I feel that the focus of the episode was more on ethical decision making as opposed to Christianity vs. science. House chose to lie to a patient for the sake of science (with disregard to the pt's wishes and beliefs) because of his own lack of a belief system. House feels its ok to lie to a patient in order to save their life, while the new girl wants to inform the patient truthfully about his options. Apparently patients are not smart or educated enough to know whats best for themselves!

  2. I absolutely love House, but it definitely brings up some controversial subjects. This episode brought up a lot of interesting issues... can belief in religion actually be located in the brain? can you make deals with God? Is it ethical to lie to your patient to save their life? Although I find this show very entertaining, I do not appreciate their view on faith. Any time a character on the show has any kind of beliefs, they are always ridiculed and made to look either crazy or not intelligent. To me they are the dumb ones... they study the intricacies of the human body and yet are so full of pride they deny the obvious mark of a creator. (Note: Obviously I know that the show is fiction but of course there are doctors out there wit the same attitude).

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. 'm about to press play on this episode as i write this comment...I too have watched episodes of House and other shows and it is very disheartening to see how people of any faith but especially Christians, are treated as "crazies" and made out to look like extremists or radicals. Although I do not agree with the patient's choice to crucify himself, I know from experience that when we are faced with difficult situations we tend to bargain with God and tell Him that we will do just about anything for Him if He could just work the situation out in our favor. If I were in this patient's situation i would have been very upset that I had been lied too and that a procedure that I specifically said i was against was used to save my life (i know it sounds strange but I really would have gotten upset). I feel that at some point a line must be drawn in the sand and doctors as well as mental health professionals need to know they cannot cross that boundary at any time. Obviously the patient would want to live but saving his life in an unethical manner (especially one that the client specifically said no too) cannot be justified in my opinion.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.