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Posted on July 14, 2009 at 7:53 AM

It was unbelievable enough that House, M.D. has become the world’s most watched television program, but even more astonishing is the news that the Earth’s most beloved show espouses pro-life values according to the Catholic Church.

Television’s greatest misanthrope is pro-life! At least according to the analysis done by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. I wouldn’t have guessed that one.

For all of his callous attitude, barking at patients, pranks on everyone he knows, cutting corners at every chance to do anything to save a patient, and his mantra “Everybody lies”, it turns out that House ultimately fits right into a culture supporting the preservation of life (even though they conclude that he is “evil” and “cynical”).

How is this possible? The authors conclude that a therapeutic power can come even from a bad person and that a healing force is possible from even the most unexpected places, increasing “trust in ourselves as fallible (but redeemable) human beings.”

This is nothing more than co-opting the world’s most popular television program and perhaps personality to try to project pro-life values. The only way in which House is pro-life is that he simply hates to see any of his patients die–because he just can’t stand to lose or leave a puzzle unsolved. In a completely ridiculous and unrealistic way, hardly a single patient ever dies on House, M.D. despite the fact that they come into Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital with the most exotic ailments known to man. This is a wholly different motivation to keep human beings breathing rather than being pro-life for the sake of life itself in any real sense in which the Vatican is attempting to connect up House MD with the Church.

The entire argument that House is pro-life is simply an attempt by the Vatican to leverage the world’s most popular television program as a teaching tool for pro-life values–and one that falls flat on it’s face. Catholics and non-Catholics alike–just watch House and enjoy him for his evil ways and his unbelievable differentials and life-saving abilities and just chuckle at his misanthropy when he reminds you that “everybody lies.”

Summer Johnson, PhD

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