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)

Category: Hospitals


Right to know week – what do you need to know?

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Did you know it is “Right to Know Week“? Right to Know Week is celebrated across Canada with events discussing privacy rights. It is a gathering of Canada’s Information and Privacy Commissioners and organizations and individuals who are interested in privacy. In Canada, and Ontario for purposes of this blog, the right to know means… Read more »



Ontario considers new private sector privacy legislation – what does that mean for healthcare?

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You may have heard that the Ontario government is consulting on new privacy legislation for the private sector. Here’s the announcement. And here’s the link to the survey where you can share your views. Deadline for feedback is October 1, 2020. The purpose is to give Ontarians more confidence when dealing in the digital world…. Read more »


New IPC guidelines for healthcare workers working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

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The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released a new access and privacy fact sheet aimed at helping organizations and their staff navigate the “new normal” called “Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic“. In her related blog post, Commissioner Kosseim emphasizes that “it is essential that corporate policies and practices related to access, privacy,… Read more »


What health care organizations need to know about recent changes to Ontario’s health privacy law

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If you’ve been focused on COVID-19 response and transitioning to virtual care over the last few months, you may have missed that there have been some big changes to Ontario’s health privacy law, the Personal Health Information Protection Act. What did you miss?? Here’s a recap of Bill 188, Bill 138, and two sets of… Read more »


5 New PHIPA IPC decisions … time to catch up

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There have been some interesting health privacy decisions out of the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office in the last few months. Here’s a recap: Decisions 119 and 121 – May and June 2020 Key Take Away Message: When there is a dispute over whether a health care organization has completed a “reasonable search”, the organization… Read more »


The crisis phase is over – the emergency continues – how should health leaders move forward?

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I have noticed over the last month that the tone of conversations has changed and social critique has resurfaced. Individuals are rightly asking more questions. There is greater need in all aspects of life and public service for clarity and certainty.  There are more queries and complaints about the impact of decisions made in the… Read more »



COVID-19: Professional Staff Credentialing Considerations for Ontario Hospitals

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The Public Hospitals Act deals with the relationship between hospitals and their Professional Staff members (physicians, dentists, midwives and some nurse practitioners). In a pandemic, pull out your Professional Staff By-laws and look for provisions dealing with temporary appointments to the Professional Staff to deal with an emergency. The concept of temporary appointments should be… Read more »



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 November program will address human rights issues with guest speaker Christine Hanson and scenarios.
Full details of the 2020 webinar series and registration here.

Advanced Health Privacy Officer training
November 3,2020

For Privacy Officers within healthcare organizations - now totally online

This course focuses on taking theory into practice and we do real life scenarios to build your Privacy Officer skills.
Full details and registration here.

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.

Team Privacy Training Events
October 22, 23, 26, 29, November 11, 12, 13, December 4

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...

Free Part X CYFSA privacy webinar - ask me anything!
the second Wednesday of every month

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experienced privacy designate 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.

Part X CYFSA Privacy Designate training
November 10 and 17

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

This course focuses on how to implement Part X of the Child Youth and Family Services Act in your organization.
Full details and registration 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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