The Times publishes reader letters about our enterprise reporting, the effects of HIV/AIDS and more.

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Disgusted by former doctor's alleged abuses

I would like to commend The Times for publishing the article about former West Linn doctor David Farley and the many claims that have been made against him ("More than 100 suing former doctor accused of abuse").

Read our Nov. 16, 2021, online story about the allegations against David Farley.

I read it in its entirety, though it was very painful to do so. My heart aches for all those who may have suffered through his "examinations," his lies, his abuse, and his exploitation of girls and women solely for his own sexual gratification.

I understand that a doctor takes an oath, part of which reads "first do no harm." People generally regard doctors highly and trust them, depending on doctors to treat, diagnose and heal any ills. David Farley (I cannot call him a doctor) is alleged to have taken great advantage of their trust to perpetrate his sexual assaults. Yes, assaults — we need to use the proper language and call it what it is.

I put equal responsibility and blame on his nurses and any other medical personnel who may have stood by and done nothing. According to the article, they even enabled the abuse by denigrating and shaming the victim even as she lay helpless on the table. A nurse's role is to advocate for the patient; clearly this may not have happened.

The physical abuse is damaging enough, but David Farley's alleged actions have caused untold psychological damage and pain in his victims that could last their entire life. Mothers and fathers are likely blaming themselves, too, for allowing their daughters to be "treated" by him; husbands have probably suffered as well. So, the alleged abuse he inflicted has likely affected hundreds of people and families.

If he is found guilty, I truly hope he is prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that his victims receive compensation. However, no amount of money or incarceration time will be enough to heal scars this deep.

I will carry care and compassion for his victims in my heart for the rest of my life. May you who have been hurt, and those who care about you, heal and find peace.

Julie Helle, Tigard

Another health crisis is still unfolding

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact across the globe, with millions of lives and livelihoods lost, unlike anything we've experienced in decades. The last time the entire world was this focused on a pandemic was over two decades ago, when HIV/AIDS was killing almost 4,000 people every day and new infections were doubling every year.

Since then, the global response to AIDS has largely been a success story, with millions of lives being saved through testing, treatment and prevention efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to stop or even reverse this progress. On World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, it's important to remember HIV/AIDS is still a crisis. [Ed.: This letter to the editor was received last Wednesday, Dec. 1.]

In 2020, there were 1.5 million new infections and 680,000 AIDS-related deaths. People living with HIV/AIDS are at more severe risk of COVID-19 and live in parts of the world with limited access to COVID vaccines. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to almost 70% of people living with HIV, but less than 5% of the population has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

We have the power to beat both of these viruses. We just need the will. That's why it's so important that Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici show support for programs that are helping the fight against both COVID and AIDS, like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, one of the most effective and efficient health organizations on the planet.

Michael Kalkofen, Beaverton

Integrate I-5 bridge intelligently with road system

I think the best place to build the new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River is on the east (upriver) side of the existing bridges.

Looking at a map, I-5 veers to the east, especially on the north (Vancouver) side. That way, the bridge could be shorter, have a smaller footprint, cost less, and displace fewer businesses, etc.

In order to be high enough for the river traffic, it would be too steep for light rail. I am not in favor of light rail, but if we must have it, put it on the newer (southbound) one of the existing bridges. I think a better idea than light rail is express buses that can drive on a steeper bridge.

The south (Oregon) side of the bridge should have freeway-type on-ramps and off-ramps to eastbound and westbound Marine Drive, Highway 99E and Highway 99W to avoid congestion and keep traffic moving.

Bob Mattila, Brush Prairie (Washington)

Talk all you like, just wear a mask

More than a thousand Americans are still dying from COVID every day, but I walk into my local Fred Meyer and still see people who aren't wearing masks.

Sure, wearing masks is an inconvenience and we're all tired of it but it helps to slow the spread of COVID.

I have noticed, however, that the Interstate Fred Meyer in Portland has someone at the door asking the maskless to mask up. Seems like a good idea.

I sometimes hear people say things like, "I have a right to have control over my body." Well, yes, you do, but when you exercise your right in a way that denies my rights, then we have a conflict or a collision of rights. So you can get as drunk as you want at home, but you can't drive your car on the public streets and highways if you are drunk. We have laws which handle these collisions of rights.

So if you are not vaccinated and and if you are also not wearing a mask in public places you are a potential danger to others. So mask up. Do it for yourself, those around you and for your country. It's fine to complain and talk about your rights, but just do the right thing.

Ray Horn, Scappoose

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