I’m Kate Dewhirst.

My team and I write 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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Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the first Wednesday of every month

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experienced 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.

Health Privacy Officer Foundations training
starts October 2023

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations.

This course focuses on how to become a more confident privacy officer and gives you the tools to document your privacy program. Full details and registration here...

Join the Shush: a collective of health privacy officers
Annual membership 2023

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations

This is an annual membership program that takes theory into practice and tackles real life scenarios to build Privacy Officer skills.
Full details and registration here.

Primary care webinars: Employment Law Update & Legal Issues for EDs and Board members

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our February program will address an update on the laws that apply to Primary Care Teams and in March we discuss human rights tips.
Full details of the 2023 webinar series and registration here.

Team Privacy Training Events

For Primary Care clinics, Hospitals, Community Agencies, Mental Health Teams, Public Health Units, School Boards, Police departments

Next sessions in the Fall - on Termination Tips, Departing Physicians, Toxic Employees and Privacy issues . More details...

Join the Proof: a collective of Credentialing Officers
Annual membership 2023

For Credentialing Officers from hospitals such as Medical Affairs leaders, Chiefs of Staff and Credentialing Committee Chairs

This is an annual membership program that builds capacity within your hospital.
Full details and registration here.

Free summary of all PHIPA IPC decisions

Want to read privacy breach stories to learn how to improve your work? We have summarized all the Information and Privacy Commissioner's health privacy decisions for you Download 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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    P.O. Box 97010 Roncesvalles
    Toronto Ontario M6R 3B3

    (416) 855 9557