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Summary

  • House has a serious drug addiction, neglecting warnings and involving others in his habit.
  • House is selfish, putting himself before others, even dismissing patients he finds boring.
  • House puts people’s lives at risk through unethical treatment methods and dangerous actions.

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Dr. Gregory House may be a brilliant doctor, but he is also a generally terrible person in House M.D. with many of his worst traits just being ignored. House began airing on Fox in 2004. The series gained critical acclaim and picked up numerous awards throughout the eight-season run before the show ended in 2012. The series focuses on doctors working at Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, and revolves around the specialist diagnostics team led by Dr. House, played by the talented Hugh Laurie.

While the medical drama series was a significant leap beyond in terms of quality and accuracy, the leading man was frequently a repulsive and cruel person. Gregory House possesses a brilliant medical mind, capable of determining complex medical issues with a high level of accuracy. However, he is also an outright jerk. Between the way he treats his team and his patients, there is very little in his conduct that can be admired or praised. Despite this, the character is charming, engaging, and entertaining to watch. But his flaws should be highlighted regardless of his likability.

8 House Has A Serious Drug Addiction

Hugh Laurie as House looking at a vicodin pill in his hand in House M.D.

While this first issue is not directly a negative about his character in terms of struggling with addiction, it’s more aimed at the behaviors that come out of House’s addiction. House has a long-term issue with his leg which causes him to suffer from extreme and chronic pain. In order to combat the pain, he uses vicodin as a means of pain management, but House takes things a step further. House frequently pops pills as though they were Tic Tacs, and takes them as much out of a compulsion as they are to help combat his pain.

As a doctor, he is aware of potential side effects, and about signs of addiction. It is his responsibility to ensure others don’t abuse their prescriptions, or are assigned drugs where the negatives outweigh the positives. Despite all of this, in his own situation, House willingly avoids warnings, concerns from friends and other medical professionals and involves his best friend Dr. James Wilson in his addiction by having him write prescriptions far more often than would be typical.

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7 House Is Selfish

Hugh Laurie as Gregory House MD

Which leads into the next point nicely. House is an egotistical, self-centered and self-obsessed individual who puts himself before everything and everyone else most of the time. It doesn’t matter if his father has died, or his team are struggling with personal issues, House has no time for other people’s problems. The fact that his career sees him frequently serve and help members of the public to overcome illness could be misconstrued as some sort of kindness on his part, but the fact that he turns down any case he thinks is boring quickly settles that idea as false.

House leads a specialist team that only serves the most challenging cases where they can’t be solved by other doctors. Even this is an exercise in pride and ego by House, as he seeks to solve the puzzle that no one else can. House will do anything to solve a mystery, and does not have any concern about how this generally impacts others. He also indulges his every whim, whether that be giving in to his addiction, or bending rules to serve his own desires.

6 House Puts People’s Lives In Danger Constantly

House season 1 (3)

As a doctor, it is House’s job to help people who are ill or in pain, and primarily to preserve life. However, House gets the most satisfaction from solving mysteries. To this end, he will frequently assign treatments and medication before knowing what the issues are. While in some cases, a course of treatment won’t be of major consequence if taken without the specific illness, many of House’s patients have extreme and rare cases that could be worsened by the wrong treatment. In some cases, giving the wrong treatment could even aggravate the illness and lead to death.

However, House chooses to push forward, ignoring risks, and even using the wrong course of treatment as a means to rule out the incorrect diagnosis. This is unethical, cruel, and incredibly risky. While House may come out on top in many of these cases and save numerous lives, his actions are irresponsible and dangerous. A doctor with a sound mind and reasoning should not administer drugs or treatments that could further endanger their patients, in the hopes that it might reveal what is actually wrong.

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5 House Played Games With Other’s Careers

House MD Season 4 Episode 8

At the beginning of House, the audience is introduced to House and his small but skilled team. Dr. Robert Chase, Dr. Eric Foreman, and Dr. Allison Cameron are the lucky few who get to practice with the prestigious Dr. House. However, in the first few seasons, House frequently threatens the team with being fired, and plays games with their careers with very little consideration. Eventually, he fires Dr. Chase without providing a serious reason for his actions, and simply cuts ties with the skilled doctor.

Then, in season 4, House literally hosts a large competition like format, where he has dozens of skilled young doctors and students compete for a place on his team. He pushes these people to their limits, has them commit crimes, and puts them in the most uncomfortable situations all for the chance of possibly being on House’s prestigious team. This kind of behavior is demeaning and cruel to people who are simply trying to develop their careers.

4 House Perpetuated Problematic Sentiments

Cuddy is talking to House.

While House worked closely with people from different cultures, ethnicities, and genders, he didn’t hold back from pushing negative or stereotypical sentiments. His relationship with Dr. Cameron frequently crossed the line when he would make references about her being a woman and making derogatory comments. He also pushed Dr. Foreman to commit crimes such as breaking into peoples’ homes and stealing, and when he was questioned about why he had the Black man do it, he doubled down on his actions.

While it could be unfair to suggest he hated or actively disliked any of these groups, he certainly enjoyed messing with them and pushing stereotypes. House could have done a lot more to be sensitive, inclusive, and generally not a complete monster when he was interacting with people from different walks of life. Even in House’s interactions with his boss, Lisa Cuddy, he would frequently make remarks that were out of line for a working relationship.

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3 House’s Obsessive Nature Puts Others At Risk

Peter Jacobson as Dr. Chris Taub in House

House has a serious compulsion when it comes to trying to crack the case. Despite his position as a doctor, and not a private investigator, House is obsessed with getting the truth out of patients, even though he plays fast and loose with it on his end. In order to find details that patients are hiding, he regularly has his team break into their homes, go through their personal belongings, and try to find any hints and clues that suggest they were not telling the truth.

If this came from a serious concern for the patient, or to ensure they were being treated correctly, it would at least have some positive intention behind it. But the fact is that House simply believes everyone is lying, and wants to get the truth at any cost. His actions could land other people in jail, losing their license to practice medicine, and bankrupt the hospital, which would prevent countless people from receiving the care they need, but House doesn’t care as long as he solves the mystery.

2 House Is A Bad Friend

Wilson crying in front of House

Dr. House has a single best friend in the show, Dr. James Wilson. While he develops relationships with everyone that he works with, these are often tainted, and very rarely present as being friendly. However, his relationship with Wilson seems to be unique. He actively does favors for Wilson, and occasionally takes a second to think about his needs. However, neither of these things happen anywhere close to enough.

Often, when Wilson needs a favor, he has to disguise it in order to get House to comply. When Wilson struggles with relationship issues, or grief, House is frequently absent, and focuses on his own problems. House puts Wilson in danger of losing his medical license on a regular basis, and he uses his friend to play games with other people and patients in the form of bets. House is not a reliable or kind friend, and more often than not, Wilson would be better off without him.

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1 House Is A Cruel Boss

House and Chase Before the Punch in House, M.D. "Fighting Judas"

And considering how he treats his nearest and dearest friends, it should come as no surprise that House also treats his staff abysmally. As mentioned above, he frequently plays games with their lives, pushes them to commit illegal and dangerous jobs well outside their job description, and expresses prejudice toward fundamental aspects of their character. But beyond this, House views his team as just another puzzle to solve, and he often hires them out of curiosity.

When working with his original team, House takes pleasure in discovering what is “wrong” with each of them. He crosses lines in assuming things about their personal, romantic, and financial lives. When Dr. Chase divorces Cameron, or when his estranged father comes to town to try and repair his relationship with his son, House intercedes to try and force Chase into uncomfortable conversations. This kind of behavior is unacceptable, but it is indicative of the kind of character House is. Despite all the good he may cause, he is a deeply flawed character in House, yet, he remains one of the most entertaining figures on TV.



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