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)

What is health law?

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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


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Previous and next posts from Kate:

Some of Kate’s Upcoming events

Where immigration and health law issues collide

April 25, 2018

Presentation to invited Community Health Centre clients

In collaboration with immigration lawyer Jacqueline Swaisland.

2018 Privacy Officer Training

May 8 to June 12, 2018

16 hours live and online training

for Privacy Officers and Privacy Officers-to-be. Live sessions held in Toronto. Course is now full, but here are details and booking for Kate's October course.

De-escalation training

May 16, 2018

Training session for a Toronto Family Health Team

In conjunction with leadership coach Christine Burych.

Team Privacy Training Events

May 17, June 13

For Primary Care clinics and FHTs

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

Ask me anything (about health privacy)

12 noon, May 23, 2018

An hour webinar with Kate where you can ask Kate any privacy-related questions you have.

Open to all health Privacy Officers. Register here.

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.

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