Insensitive (House)

"Insensitive" is the fourteenth episode of the third season of House and the sixtieth episode overall.

House episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 14
Directed byDeran Sarafian
Written byMatthew V. Lewis
Original air dateFebruary 13, 2007
Guest appearance(s)


The episode begins with teenage Hannah being taken to the hospital by her apparently overprotective mother after falling on ice. A car accident knocks the mother unconscious and leaves the girl with shrapnel in her leg which apparently does not disturb her.

Meanwhile, the hospital is short-staffed on Valentine's Day and the diagnostics team is helping out in the ER. Watching Foreman clean Hannah's wounds, House deduces immediately that she has CIPA and orders a battery of tests on her, including a spinal nerve biopsy. Hannah will not submit to any testing until she has more information on her mother, who is in surgery. House verbally spars with the girl, comparing their relative misfortunes. During this argument, House tricks her into letting him sedate her.

Hannah suddenly develops a 105° (40,5 °C) fever while House continues to insist on the spinal nerve procedure. The diagnostics team think that a spinal nerve biopsy could paralyze or seriously harm her, and pointing out the lack of medical need for the tests. Instead of performing the dangerous nerve biopsy, Chase convinces the others to find the problem by inducing pain. However, Hannah fakes being in intense pain to remove the restraints and then threatens to jump off a balcony unless the team lets her see her mother. She suffers a paranoid delusion, her legs become paralyzed, and she falls off the railing to the floor below.

Wilson thinks that House wants the spinal nerve biopsy in order to grow it and then plant it in his own leg, a procedure which might allow him to walk pain free. House considers the possibility of Hannah's problem being endocrine, and visits Cuddy at night for an endocrinology consult. Cuddy tells House that he did not need to personally visit her and that she thinks he did so only to interrupt her date.

After Hannah's condition worsens due to a meeting with her mother, House gives up on endocrinology and consults with Wilson on a potential cancer diagnosis. While stealing a bite from Wilson's sandwich an offhand remark from Wilson makes House realize that Hannah has a vitamin B12 deficiency and that her paranoia was caused by reaction to the sedatives. He rushes her into an OR and removes a huge tapeworm which had absorbed the vitamins itself - while Hannah, unsedated, watches.

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