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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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
September 14, 21, 28, October 5, 12, 19, 26 2021

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 2021

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 September program will address toxic employees and in October we discuss collaboration agreements.
Full details of the 2021 webinar series and registration here.

Team Privacy Training Events
September 22, 23, 24, 27, 30 October 13, 14, 20, 21

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

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

Part X CYFSA Privacy Designate Course - video course online

For Privacy Designates in the child welfare sector including children's aid societies and indigenous children's well-being centres

We focus on how to implement Part X of the Child Youth and Family Services Act in your organization.
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...

NEW! Ontario Hospital Association Professional Staff Credentialing Toolkit

2nd Edition is now available for managing physicians, dentists, midwives and nurse practitioners in hospitals Read 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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contact details

P.O. Box 97010 Roncesvalles
Toronto Ontario M6R 3B3

(416) 855 9557

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