I’m Kate Dewhirst.

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

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After death: who can access the records of a patient after death?

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The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released a new resource today for the general public called “Accessing Your Deceased Relative’s Personal Information“.

The resource first addresses rights of access to records held by government.

Then the IPC provides guidance to the public how to obtain health information from healthcare providers.

The IPC answers the following questions:

  1. What is personal health information and who holds it?
  2. Can I access my deceased relative’s personal health information?
  3. Who is the substitute decision-maker for a deceased individual?
  4. What if I am not the substitute decision-maker? Can I still obtain my deceased relative’s health information?
  5. What if the substitute decision-maker won’t give consent?
  6. What can I do if a custodian refuses to provide me with the personal health information?
  7. Where can I find the results of a death investigation?
  8. Where can I get the death certificate or a medical certificate of death?

This is an important resource for the public.

Healthcare organizations should ensure their team members are trained in how to direct family members to the right resources to better understand privacy issues after death.


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Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Health Privacy Officer training
September 22, 2020

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations - now totally online.

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...

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

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our September program is on privacy litigation and the October program will address harassment issues and scenarios.
Full details of the 2020 webinar series and registration here.

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the first Wednesday of every month (Off for the Summer - next up: September 2 and October 7)

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.

Free Part X CYFSA privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the second Wednesday of every month (next up: July 8 and August 12)

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.

Team Privacy Training Events
July 8, 23, 28 August 4, October 7, 8

For Primary Care clinics, Hospitals, Community Agencies and Children’s Aid

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

Kate Dewhirst Health Law

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