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Season 3 Episode 3

Informed Consent

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Sep 19, 2006 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
762 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

House puts a well-known medical researcher through a battery of tests to determine why he collapsed in his lab. When the team is unable to diagnose the problem, the doctor asks the team to help him end his life. House is forced to use his cane again after the ketamine has worn off as he deals with a clinic patient's teenaged daughter who has a crush on him.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • House is back in full power.

    After a warm-hearted Gregory House in the season premiere and a transitional House in last week's episode, we are finally presented back to our beloved Dr. House. By picking up his cane and bringing it back into the light (previous episode), he accepted his own fate and returned to being the man he has always been.

    And to top it off, this week he must treat a dying elder doctor whom he admires. Baffled by the mysterious disease that is slowly filling the patient's lungs with fluid, House is obviously not going to give in to Dr. Ezra Powell's pledge of assisted suicide. House must do what he does best. He must run against time to prevent this disease from killing the patient. Not because he truly cares about the patient's health; not because he is seeking recognition; but simply because that's what he does. That's what defines him. He is a doctor. The best there is at what he does. And euthanasia just takes away all the fun of his job.

    House shows he is once more (after the existential questioning he went through during this season's first two episodes) willing to lie, steal and cheat in order to do what he believes is necessary. And to do what is necessary, he will ignore moral issues of right or wrong. He crossed that line long ago. Foreman understand this decision, but is not inclined to follow that path - yet. Cameron simply does not understand it; she abominates it. Her morality drives her actions as a doctor, and giving up her ethics is unthinkable. Chase, on the other hand, is the most loyal member of House's team; he doesn't have the guts to act like his boss, but he doesn't question House's biddings. He accepts them. His confidence in House knows no limits at all.

    So House will go as far as he can to do what he judges necessary. We've seen this before, and we want to see it again. He won't quit, he won't give up, he won't back off. Not until the truth leads him to something terminal, something incurable, or both.

    And as for Cameron, she refuses to see the world through House's point of view. She struggles to follow a standard medical moral code, trying and saving every patient's life alike. That is why she believes she is so different from House: that while he follows no rules at all, she guides herself throughout her life according to her personal ethics. What she fails to perceive, though, is that House does follow a very particular moral code, which I described above. And by her final act in this episode, Cameron unnoticedly crosses path with House. She puts her moral code above her medical ethics. That's what House does. And that's why he said he is proud of her.

    P.S.: Please God, bring that blonde girl again for the next few episodes.moreless
  • Moving and dark...

    This episode was a lot better than I remembered. I certainly didn't rate Season 3 as highly until I started rewatching them!

    I thought the awareness of assisted suicide was a very interesting debate. I somehow didn't see Foreman taking the stance he did, but I think the writers needed to have a contrast to Chase, whilst leaving Cameron dithering in the middle. It worked- but only barely.

    The patient himself was a very sympathetic character, and we developed the idea of not only assisted suicide, but of ethics of whether it is right or wrong to kill hundreds to save millions.

    It was also great to see House's determination to solve the puzzle again, as well as him telling Cameron he was proud of her. I think Camerons decision at the end and House telling her he was proud made the episode score of 9.5 to me, because there were a lot of minor irriations, such as the deliberant clashes between Foreman and Chase were far too forced, and the patient congratulating Cameron on taking a stance was a little far fetched.

    Nevertheless, the actings and twists and turns were very interesing, if a little dark. There was definately much needed light humour in the hot clinic patient girl fancying House- made for very entertaining viewing!

    Overall, another great episode- my Season 3 DVDs are so underplayed- mistake on me it seems!moreless
  • Kevorkian, M.D. ....

    Dr. House walks into the office with two things that are both old and new: his cane and a case. The 71 year-old Ezra Powell (Oscar-winning Cabaret star Joel Grey) has been a very influential doctor for decades - and now he is dying and is under the care of Dr. House. When House and his team do not figure out what is wrong with Powell right away, he informs them that he wants to just die.

    "Informed Consent" sends a katana careening down the dividing line of the audience. Is physician-assisted suicide acceptable? The audience will debate this as the characters on screen do. But even those, like me, who find physician-assisted suicide completely unacceptable, can find "Informed Consent" highly entertaining. House is absolutely hilarious (and you thought he couldn't work humor into wanting to die), Cameron has a particularly hard time dealing with Powell's case, and after living for many cane-free months House again needs something to lean on.moreless
  • Cameron is coming out of her shell.

    This episode was so sad in the beginning when that mean old guy killed the rats, they were just chillin', minding their own business and that guy kills him, Cameron says no to the case which was surprising, I would of fired her but whatever. Anyways the guy ends up dying at the end which I think he deserved since he was being a jerk towards the whole episode. And I like how House lied to him saying how he was going to kill him but he actually just puts him in a comma. Everyone still thinking Cuddy is pregnant, everything is chaotic, a great episode.moreless
  • Amazing.

    These first few episodes of the third season have been amazing. House's painfree existence slowly evaporates, adding a new dimension to his condition. Whereas he used to be a grouchy nitpicker with no social skills, the disappointment turns him into a more melancholic character. Faced with a patient who is possibly House's equal and who wishes to end it all, the sarcasm takes a step back. I don't think we have seen many episodes in which House had a personal connection with the patient. (Sometimes it takes half an episode before he actually meets the subject of his investigation.)

    The euthanasia plot provided the three assistants a chance to show their moral backbone, though I found it a bit easy to give the female assistant the more emotional reaction.moreless
Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

Dr. Gregory House

Jennifer Morrison

Jennifer Morrison

Dr. Allison Cameron

Jesse Spencer

Jesse Spencer

Dr. Robert Chase

Lisa Edelstein

Lisa Edelstein

Dr. Lisa Cuddy

Omar Epps

Omar Epps

Dr. Eric Foreman

Robert Sean Leonard

Robert Sean Leonard

Dr. James Wilson

Leighton Meester

Leighton Meester


Guest Star

William Charlton

William Charlton


Guest Star

Joel Grey

Joel Grey

Dr. Ezra Powell

Guest Star

Stephanie Venditto

Stephanie Venditto

Nurse Brenda

Recurring Role

Bobbin Bergstrom

Bobbin Bergstrom


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Trivia: The wall clock in the MRI procedure room has the words Stoia Tucker on it. This is the name of the pharmaceutical company that provides anti-tuberculosis medications that Dr. Sebastian Charles uses to treat TB patients in Africa in "TB or Not TB", episode #26 (episode 4 of season 2).

    • Powell's colonoscopy is of a clean colon. In order for his colon to be that clean they would need to prep him overnight, which they did not do.

    • When House and Foreman are arguing about giving Ezra the fatal dose of morphine, the level that the plunger is pushed into keeps changing from fully withdrawn to two-thirds in as the camera angle cuts back and forth between them.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Ezra: I always wanted to know what's there on the other side.
      House: Nothing.

    • (after House has reeled off a list of tests and investigations to perform)
      Dr. Foreman: All of that in 24 hours?
      House: Nah. Whatever you don't get done you can finish at the autopsy.

    • Dr. Cameron: Wait, there's actually another doctor you admire?
      House: I... admire a lot of doctors. 'Course most of them look a lot better in knee socks than Ezra Powell, but seeing as they can all breathe...

    • House: Bad news fast. Good news you can take your time.

    • Dr. Wilson: Worried about meeting your one-patient-a-week quota?
      House: I'm a cripple, remember? Accommodations must be made.

    • House: Come on, he's old, sick, tiny! We can do whatever we want to him!

    • House: He's got fluid in his lungs! Whatever are we gonna do?! Oh yeah, now I remember; put him on a treadmill, and run him like one of his rats on a wheel.

    • (to Cameron)
      House: You do know that you can't really pierce me with your stares!

    • Ezra Powell: I don't regret what I did. Informed consent... patient rights... holds back research.
      Dr. Cameron: (slices off a piece of Powell's skin without anesthetic)
      Ezra Powell: (cries out in pain) Augh! What the hell are you doing?!
      Dr. Cameron: Informed consent is holding back our diagnosis.

    • (speaking for a hidden microphone)
      House: How right you are, Dr. Cuddy! We also don't pad our bills, swipe samples from the pharmacy, or fantasize about the teenage daughters of our patients, either.
      Dr. Cuddy: True; better be true; and you're a pig.

    • Ezra: Dr. Chase said my calcium is normal.
      House: Hmmm, we call him "Dr. Idiot."

    • House: Wow! You guys look like crap!

    • House: I thought you were only supposed to put on a pound a week in your last trimester.
      Dr. Cuddy: I'm not pregnant.

    • Dr. Wilson: How's Ezra Powell?
      House: Resting comfortably.
      Dr. Wilson: Hm, that's not what Cameron says.
      House: I hate practicing medicine in high school.

    • House: Don't go towards the light. You'll fall and break your hip!

    • House: What's the largest organ?
      Dr. Chase: Skin.
      House: We'll need to get a piece.
      Dr. Foreman: Sure, we'll just wait until he leaves his room without his skin, sneak in and take a piece.

    • Ezra: Are you a man of your word or not?
      House: No, as a matter of fact, I'm not.

    • House: Been having any anal sex with IV drug users lately?
      Mark: Of course not! I'm married.
      (House looks at Mark's daughter)
      House: Think she might have been having… ?
      Mark and Ali: (in unison) No!

    • Dr. Cameron: I can't do this...
      House: Drama queen!

    • House: What have you been doing all night?
      Dr. Cameron: Jello shots and wild sex, what else?

    • Ezra: I don't want to live hooked to machines.. too weak to wipe my own ass.
      House: Why would you want to wipe your own ass when you can have someone do it for you?

  • NOTES (3)

    • International Air Dates:
      The Netherlands: July 5, 2007 on SBS 6
      The Czech Republic: November 26, 2007 on TV Nova
      Belgium: December 20, 2007 on KanaalTwee
      Sweden: February 19, 2008 on TV4
      Norway: Thursday, July 31, 2008 on NRK1

    • Featured Music: The music playing during the opening scene is "Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, Prelude" composed by J.S. Bach.

    • Featured Music: "Into Dust" by Mazzy Star, "Gravity" by John Mayer, "Happiness" by The Weepies, "Have a Little Faith" by Paul Hanover Band


    • Dr. Wilson: Worried about making your one-patient-per-week quota?
      Yet another reference to the show's featuring one major case per week.

    • House: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
      A reference to a scene near the end of the movie The Wizard of Oz (1939). The "wizard" is actually a normal man from Kansas who creates a giant image of a wizard. Toto the dog figures it out and starts to tug on the curtain he is hiding behind. Also, Joel Grey played the Wizard of Oz in the original Broadway production of Wicked.

    • House: Fine. Tell the truth. Just get me a pound of flesh.
      From the comedic play Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. Shylock, a greedy and manipulative moneylender, vows to take "... an equal pound/Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken/In what part of your body pleaseth me." from Antonio, the title Merchant, if Antonio does not pay his debt to Shylock in the agreed amount of time.

    • Dr. Cameron: And I want to get a foot massage from Johnny Damon.
      Johnny Damon is a Major League Baseball center fielder who formerly played with the Boston Red Sox and went to the New York Yankees via free agency in December 2005. He is considered by many to be attractive and charismatic both on and off the field. In the movie Pulp Fiction (1994), Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta) argue about whether giving a woman a foot massage is an innocent action or a sensual one.

    • House: He was about to dissect one of his lab rats when he collapsed. The little vermin seized the day, so to speak, and went medieval on his ass.
      "I'ma get medieval on your ass!" is a now-famous line spoken by crime boss Marcellus Wallace (played by Ving Rhames) in the film Pulp Fiction (1994).

    • House: Don't go towards the light.
      Referencing the movie Poltergeist (1982) and its sequels, where the main character Caroline is told not to "go into the light." Associated with the "white light" reported in many near-death experiences.