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"The Socratic Method" is the sixth episode of the first season of House, which premiered on the Fox network on December 21, 2004. The title refers to the Socratic method, credited to Socrates. When a schizophrenic mother develops a deep-vein thrombosis while applying for welfare, a strange phone call causes House to question her sanity once again.
Lucille Palmeiro, a mother suffering from schizophrenia, feels a sharp pain in her leg, a result of a blood clot. The clot moves to Lucille's lung and she has a pulmonary embolism from the clot (Deep vein thrombosis).
At night in the hospital, Lucille begins to vomit blood. House wonders if a Vitamin K deficiency explains the delay between the blood test and the vomiting. Foreman and Chase check the patient's home for unused Ampicillin, which was prescribed earlier in the year for a sore throat. Foreman finds a strongbox filled with medicine, including an untouched bottle of Ampicillin and a freezer full of microwave burgers. House's theory about Vitamin K is becoming stronger.
Chase and Cameron ultrasound Lucille's liver and find cirrhosis and a cancerous tumor. To circumvent surgical guidelines, House injects ethanol into the tumor to temporarily shrink it. After the surgery, Social Services comes to the hospital to take Lucille's son, Luke. House accuses her of calling Social Services for her son and believes that her decision is inconsistent with her schizophrenia and thinks that perhaps the drugs she was taking for schizophrenia are actually responsible for some of her psychotic symptoms as she seems saner off the drugs than on them.
Late that night, House has a revelation. Wilson's disease is marked by high copper levels in the body, and explains the cirrhosis. Seeing that Lucille canceled an eye exam last year, they give her a quick test. The copper-colored rings around her corneas confirm the diagnosis. Within a few days, a healthy Lucille is happily reunited with Luke. House lies to spare the son from finding out his mother gave him up and claims that he had Cuddy call Social Services as only House was aware that Luke was only 15 despite claiming to be 18.
Throughout the episode, her son, and later House, reads "Her Praise" by William Butler Yeats to Lucille, ending with her reading the poem after she regains full mental capacity.
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