I’m Kate Dewhirst.

I’m a lawyer who writes about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada

Kate Dewhirst Health Law - bringing the law to life. Meet Kate (in 13 seconds)

How should Ontario’s healthcare organizations prepare for new legislation?

Posted by

We have a new government in Ontario after 15 years of the same party in power.  You know what that means? Change. Hold on to your seats folks – we are going to see legislative changes in healthcare in Ontario. Any time of change can be tough.  But a time of change is upon us… Read more »



Did you know employment termination packages are subject to pre-approval by the Ministry? Guest Blogger: Maria McDonald

Posted by

Calling all family health teams in Ontario.  Here’s something you should know! This blog was written by Maria McDonald from McDonald HR Law Did you know that section 4.1 of the standard family health team (FHT) funding agreement with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) requires FHTs to obtain written pre-approval from… Read more »


New swag! It dePENds

Posted by

I was scrolling around on social media the other day and there was a challenge posed by Twitter: “Pick two words from your bio. It’s your next tattoo.” For me, that’s easy to answer. Anyone who has attended training with me knows my signature phrase, “it depends“. When my health care clients ask me questions,… Read more »


Health Law Collisions: Immigration Law

Posted by

  Health law is a discipline that focuses on the legal issues in health care, on representing the interests of recipients of health services or health care providers or the health sector and its businesses and goods and service providers, or government and its policy makers. What I love about health law is that the… Read more »


Police! Six concepts health leaders need to know when interacting with police

Posted by

I am often asked by health leaders what to do when police arrive and need information about patients. Police officers and police departments are important community partners for health care organizations. As citizens, we all rely on the police to protect us and enforce the laws.  It is vital to the success of all health… Read more »


New Freedom of Information resource

Posted by

I just found this freedom of information resource and thought others might not have known about it either. It is intended as a document for the general public to understand freedom of information laws in Ontario. It is also useful for provincial and municipal freedom of information and privacy co-ordinators. How wonderful! Thank you Ministry… Read more »



Nuanced privacy decision from IPC on access to deceased patient’s records

Posted by

There is a new health privacy decision 75 of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Bottom line for health care organizations: If a client has died, you have to be careful about the release of health records to the estate trustees under the will.  If the will appoints multiple estate trustees (executors) – you… Read more »


New snooping case for health privacy – Decision 74 of the IPC released

Posted by

Decision 74 just released by the Information and Privacy Commissioner is another snooping case. My summary of all the IPC decisions is available here. A physician used a hospital’s electronic health record system to look at the records of a patient numerous times without authorization.  The physician was related to the patient by marriage and… Read more »


Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Team Privacy Training Events

November 14, 16, 29 & 30 and December 3, 11, 12, 13 & 19

For Primary Care clinics and FHTs

Kate trains health professionals from many more primary care organizations how being privacy-respectful can improve therapeutic relationships. more details...

Building healthy habits

November 26, 2018

Legal coaching at a Toronto law firm.

A private coaching session

Primary care webinar: Shared services agreements

December 6, 2018, 12 noon

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Pitfalls that primary care organizations need to look out for when agreeing to provide care in collaboration with other healthcare organizations.

Full details of the 2019 webinar series and registration here.

Privacy Officer training

April 30 through June 4, 2019

Kate’s specialist training course for Privacy Officers in health organizations.

Open to all health Privacy Officers, as well as those hoping to become Privacy Officers. Full details and registration for Privacy Officer training next spring here...

Advanced Privacy Officer training

June 18, 2019

For experienced Privacy Officers within healthcare organisations.

This one day training course focuses on how to handle difficult privacy situations using real-life (but anonymized) case studies and role-play. Full details and registration here...

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!

December 5, 2018 4-5pm and January 9, 2019 12noon-1pm

Free webinar - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experience privacy officer or new in the field, pick Kate’s brain for free for an hour, in this live webinar. No charge, but you’ll need to register in advance.

Kate Dewhirst Health Law

Kate says:

My mission is bringing the law to life. I make legal theory understandable, accessible and fun! I’m available and love to work for all organizations in the healthcare sector across Ontario and beyond.

Subscribe to my mailing list and keep up to date with news:

Latest Tweets

Forwarding emails is dangerous! Okay – that’s an exaggeration. But let me tell you what can happen when you overuse… https://t.co/JSRD8jAZQU

about 1 hour ago

The Biggest Mistake Health Teams Make When Receiving Privacy Concerns. Claim your free privacy officer training vid… https://t.co/M67pyCbWns

about 5 hours ago


contact details

901 King Street West Suite 400 East Tower
Toronto Ontario M5V 3H5

(416) 855 9557