What is health law?

When asked what I do, I say “I’m a health lawyer”.  Which always gets a head tilt response: What’s that?

Q: Does that mean you sue doctors? A: Nope

Q: Oh, so you sue hospitals? A: Nope

Then they say – Ok. I don’t get it.

I explain …

I work for hospitals and doctors’ offices and health organizations. The health care sector is one of the most regulated industries we have in Canada. There is a complex web of laws, regulations, policies and rules that apply. Keeping up with the latest changes can feel like a full-time job for health care leaders. So, I help health leaders understand the law.  Like privacy laws. I write policies, coach them through their crises, and train their team members.

I also have a specialty in de-escalating situations of “people behaving badly”.

Q: Oooooooooh, what’s that?

You can imagine that there are a lot of stressful situations that present in health care.  Health care organizations are literally dealing with life and death situations. They deal with people at their most vulnerable state. The stakes are high. My clients provide the most essential services that affect people’s lives. Their day to day work involves helping individuals through life, death, illness, pain, recovery, and processing every human emotion. They are looked to for miracles, answers, and comfort. What they do matters. So from time to time, eruptions happen. Patients, families, physicians, clinicians, leaders and other team members cross over the line of reasonable disagreements into abuse, violence, harassment, discrimination. And I help health care organizations respond to those scenarios.

I love what I do.

And health law as a practice is WAY more than what I do.  Other health lawyers do:

  • medical malpractice
  • prosecutions and defense of health care providers
  • life sciences and pharmaceutical issues
  • research issues and intellectual property
  • criminal law
  • mental health law
  • corporate, charitable and tax advice
  • construction law and real estate
  • estates issues and elder law
  • and so much more

To read more about this, I got interviewed by Advocate Daily on the topic.  The meaning of health law