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)

Responsible for compliance? Put yourself in the way of beauty

Posted by

Listening to the Podcast, “We Can Do Hard Things” with Glennon Doyle, in Episode 118 Cheryl Strayed (author of “Wild” and other best-selling books) said that the best advice she ever received was from her mother who told her that as often as possible she should “put herself in the way of beauty“.

By that she meant, when you can, choose to notice the beauty all around you.

When I started my law firm, I wondered … Can the law be beautiful?  What would it mean if what I did as a lawyer was “beautiful”?

I even wrote a blog about that in 2019.

What could it mean to put oneself in the way of beauty when you are a lawyer, Privacy Officer, or risk manager?  What does beauty have to do with compliance?

To me, beauty in compliance means:

  • Curation: taking a complex jumble of rules and delivering up instructions that are simple and digestible
  • Design: thinking beyond the question that is asked and providing an answer that serves the function, purpose or need behind the question
  • Diversity: considering a multiplicity of perspectives and inputs
  • Emotion: allowing for emotion to be present and accounted for and using provocation to create momentum and necessary changes in behaviour
  • Symmetry and Asymmetry: creating contracts and policies that are balanced except when necessary to create contrast and highlight the most important item
  • Presence and Absence: recognizing who and what is present and absent from a discussion and a product
  • Meaning: using images to create shortcuts to understanding

We take trips to the Art Gallery of Ontario as a team to spark our creativity. These visits always inspire us and improve our communication. Art shows us there can be historical and contemporary approaches to the same topic.  Artists demonstrate how to respect form and tradition and when to abandon  convention and forge a new way.

This is our journey as lawyers and compliance officers in all disciplines.  It is our job to look for what works and what does not.  It is our job to find ways for important messages to be understood.

If you are a compliance officer, put yourself in the way of beauty.  See what impact you can have by making your work beautiful.


If you enjoyed this article please share it:


Previous and next posts from Kate:

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
October 24, 31, November 7, 14, 21, 28 2022 Coming Soon: Spring 2023 Next Program

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 2022

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 May program will address progressive discipline and in September we discuss mandatory training for new employees and October we discuss ethical decision making in primary care.
Full details of the 2022 webinar series and registration here.

Team Privacy Training Events
August 3, September 7, 23

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...

Ontario Hospital Association Professional Staff Credentialing Toolkit

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

Subscribe to my mailing list and keep up to date with news:

Latest Tweets

[OCT 6 – WEBINAR SERIES] Register now at link for "Right or Wrong — Ethical decision-making"… https://t.co/mPCiMBsJN3

08:00 AM Sep 26th

Register now for this FREE upcoming Ask Me Anything. We cover topics like: - video surveillance - snooping - infor… https://t.co/yCc7Cl4TWj

08:00 AM Sep 24th


contact details

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

(416) 855 9557

.