Why Science Fiction Matters in Healthcare

The future tense.

That was what Science Fiction brought to literature.

Before Science Fiction, almost all storytelling was in the past tense. Mythologies, religious texts, novels…they all spoke about what already happened.

Yes, some parts of scriptural and mythological stories told readers what might happen if they didn’t follow the rules, but they didn’t imagine the future.

Enter Healthcare.

What is Healthcare? It’s the artful development, integration and execution of scientific, technological, ethical and moral processes needed to help people.

No genre of literature was so adroit as Science Fiction in telling stories about how the future could look given a realistic evolution of technologies and how the conditions of the future impact the ethical and moral dilemmas they would pose to human beings.

We live in a time where Healthcare is increasingly becoming dependent on technological innovations and mechanisms, where the need for human capacity to imagine and anticipate the future ethical, moral and economic consequences of technologies grows faster and faster.

Science Fiction propelled human advancement like no other genre. You can’t go to the moon unless you envision it. You can’t treat rabies unless you envision weird techniques never before imagined. You can’t create tiny mechanisms that detect neoplasms unless you imagine tiny mechanisms that detect neoplasms – and imagine these tiny mechanisms live-tweeting their discoveries.

Science Fiction isn’t fiction – it’s a technique for thinking ahead.

In nursing and medicine and pharmacology and other health-related endeavors, if there’s no fore-thought then diseases persist and human suffering continues.

I’m convinced that if more people involved in Healthcare engaged in science fiction – either by reading more of it – or simply allowing their minds to wander and imagine the impossible, we’d be able to create better technology…

…and not just better technology, but more powerful ethical and moral lenses to experience the future tense.

Science Fiction is the imagination’s time travel machine.

Go to the future, come back and save the dead.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *