Chapter 4: The dark art of manipulation: The industry and its puppets
The verb “to manipulate” is used in several senses of which dictionaries duly take note. It is derived from the Latin term manipulus, meaning a handful; the body or object to be manipulated is in other words directly taken in hand in order to influence it. The process may be entirely open and necessary; the engineer, for example, is supposed to manipulate the controls of a machine in order to cause it to operate in an appropriate manner. However, there is also such a thing as covert manipulation; the Concise Oxford Dictionary recognizes this meaning of the term: to manipulate in this sense is to “manage (a person, situation etc.) to one’s own advantage, especially unfairly or unscrupulously”. It is in the latter sense that we use the term in this chapter. In examining these matters one needs to appreciate that the processes of good governance and honest health care must be open to helpful influences from any quarter. To that end there are consultative committees, hearings and opportunities for lobbying by any relevant party, whether that party represents business, science, the professions or any other interest. The essential element in such provisions is openness; one must know that the lobbying is taking place, the parties involved, the content and the outcome.
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