This is a great little dystopian story focusing on health as the highest ideal, that made me question a few of my beliefs about public health and individual responsibility.
Set in the future, disease has all but been eradicated and citizens are required to constantly measure their health, uploading the data to the state in an extreme form of telemonitoring.
Most people would agree that a world without illness, without pain, would be a better one; an ideal to strive towards.
But it raises some serious questions. Individual public health has a huge economic and social impact – so should we be allowed to live however we want?
I’ve been of the mind that there is a balance to be struck – having worked in the health sector for the past two years, I might be biased here – but one where both individual and state have responsibility for public health.
The problem lies beneath and beyond this continuum of responsibility; at one end, as depicted in The Method, the restrictions and regulations are too extreme. At the other, too many people die needlessly. It’s an interesting question that pertains to many other areas of life – how much is too much? How much is enough?
The main character Mia also has a strange journey; from rationalist to revolutionary with a little free-wheeling philosophy to aid her on her way. Philosophy is actually a key theme of the book (which I love), raising questions around ethics, free will, how far you should fight for what you believe in, and whether it makes any difference in the end.
I encourage you all to read it.