Fonds BC1216 - Judith van Heerden Papers

Reference code



Judith van Heerden Papers


  • 1959-1996 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

16 archive boxes; ca. 300 items

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Biographical history

Dr Judith van Heerden qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Cape Town in 1961. Dr Van Heerden was awarded the degree MPhil (Med) by UCT in 1996 for her thesis 'Prison Health Care in South Africa: a study of prison conditions, health care and medical accountability for the care of prisoners' (accessible at ).
Between 1965 and 1988 Dr Van Heerden worked as a Medical Officer and Senior Medical Officer in various departments of hospitals in East London, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. From 1988 until her retirement in 2001, she worked as a Lecturer / Principal Medical Officer in the Department of Primary Health Care of the Medical School of the University of Cape Town (until 1995, the unit was known Family Practice / Primary Care). In addition to her official work, Dr Van Heerden was active in pioneering research and activism in various fields. Her work regarding in terminal care, hospice care and HIV/AIDS care is documented in the archival collection, the Judith van Heerden Papers (BC1216). She subsequently conducted research in prison health care and the role of the medical profession, and was active in initiatives to bring about improvements and also campaigned against long-term solitary confinement . She lobbied for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to hold a health sector hearing and actively participated in it and subsequent initiatives. The documentation resulting from these activities is contained in the collection Prison Health Care Research & Policy Papers (BC1575).

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Scope and content

Papers contain information on terminal care, visits to hospices in the United Kingdom, the care of the dying in South Africa and other countries. Also material on HIV/Aids training and health of prisoners.


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No restrictions apply

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Language of material

  • English

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Related units of description

BC1575 Prison Health Care Research & Policy Papers

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  • English



Accession area