I’m Kate Dewhirst.

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

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You are not alone

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One of the most important things to remember when working in health care is that you are not alone.

When in doubt, ask for advice.

If you ever have cause to think to yourself:

Wow. This is the hardest situation I’ve ever had to manage.”

“In all my years of doing this, I am really scared about what’s happening and what I should do.

Huh. There is no good answer here. I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.”

That is NOT the time to conclude with … “I think I will go it alone! I won’t ask anyone else’s opinion or check with someone what they would recommend I do.”

The road to coroners’ inquests and costly litigation is paved with stories of people who knew they were in a pickle – but didn’t ask for advice.

As a health leader or healthcare provider, you are not required to be omniscient. You will face difficult situations where there is no “perfect” way forward.

When that happens, seek advice.

You are not alone. Talk to an advisor, colleague, supervisor, regulatory body, or professional association. Of course there may be privacy considerations you have to manage. But there are ways to do that while you get the supports you need.


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Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Team Privacy Training Events

April 15, May 3, June 7, 13, 20 & 25

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...

Speaking event

April 10, 2019

At Osgoode Hall

Kate speaks at the Osgoode Health Law Certificate workshop on privacy for health care organizations. More details...

Primary care webinars: Contracts & Communications

April 11 and May 2, 2019, 12 noon

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our April webinar is on employee contracts, and in May our title is communication faux pas.

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!

April 3, 2019 12 noon - 1 pm and
May 1, 2019 9 - 10 am

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.

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