Obituary – Judy Bury

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Judy BuryChris Ford says goodbye to a passionate and inspirational colleague

It’s with great sadness that we announce the death of Judy Bury, who died peacefully on 13 October 2015 in Edinburgh. Judy was one of the most inspirational, passionate and intelligent women I have ever known.

Judy started her career in sexual health services and always campaigned for the underdog. She was a proactive founder member of Doctors for a Woman’s Choice on Abortion (DWCA) – always defending women’s right to choice.

Later she became a hardworking GP in Craigmillar, a socially deprived area of Edinburgh, where she was a tireless and popular doctor. When the epidemic of HIV spread amongst Edinburgh’s people who used drugs and gay men, Judy quickly became involved and before long was appointed GP facilitator to one of the first HIV facilitation teams, with the remit of educating GPs to cope with this new disease and manage people who use drugs in their practices. She was a brilliant teacher, and communicated effectively with fellow GPs, the community drug problem service and HIV agencies.

Before long, the Scottish Office asked her to help in the production of national guidelines for the management of drug users in general practice which, when published, were timely and well received.

Close to our SMMGP hearts, Judy was there at the beginning, helping to arrange both the first conference (now in its 20th year) and the newsletter. I remember her speaking at that first conference and saying we (general practitioners) needed to care for people and never judge them until they wanted to change.

Some of you ‘young uns’ might not remember her as she retired, because of ill health, about 11 years ago. But true to form even when unwell she fought tirelessly for the ‘Yes’ campaign in Scotland and gathered together a group of doctors to form Doctors for Assisted Suicide (DAS).

Judy always gave such a lot to people and causes she believed in. Many of us loved her, and after a difficult last illness she is at peace now.

Dr Chris Ford