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… Read more »


Health Privacy Update – July 2017

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Mandatory reporting by health information custodians in Ontario to the IPC will now come into effect October 1, 2017 The new regulations requiring the mandatory reporting of privacy breaches to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario will come into effect October 1st (not July 1st as we originally expected). The link to the new… Read more »


Legal Innovation – Unlocking your creativity

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The pressure to “innovate” is everywhere. Even though the practice of law is not exactly renowned for being cutting edge, as lawyers we aspire to create new ways of practice that improve the outcomes for our clients, increase our revenues, free us up for fun, add sex-appeal to our party introduction “I’m a lawyer”, and generally… Read more »


Managing Every Day Complaints in Health Care

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I recently surveyed administrative and clinical team members at a family health team and discovered the top 5 issues that lead patients or families to complain where the conversation can get heated: Being told they cannot receive test results over the phone for a family member without the patient’s consent Long wait times Not being able to receive… Read more »


Talking conflict on a FHT board

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Family health teams are interesting creations.  What are they?  Multi-disciplinary teams providing primary care services to communities across Ontario. A new theme for family health teams is moving from physician-led boards to community or mixed governance and skills-based boards. One of the driving reasons for this change is to deal with potential conflicts of interest… Read more »


TedTalks your health care team can watch about privacy

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Are you a Privacy Officer for a health care organization and do you struggle to find interesting videos to keep privacy top of mind for your team? Here are fiveTedTalks that you and your team might find interesting: Why privacy matters – have you heard the phrase “If you aren’t doing anything wrong – you should… Read more »



Health Privacy Update – May 2017

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On May 3rd, the Information and Privacy Commissioner and his team was in Thunder Bay. He released a new presentation He receives between 300-350 health privacy complaints annually He talked about the new social worker prosecution He reminded the audience about the new Code of Procedures for health privacy cases with his office He also mentioned… Read more »


Legal Innovation – brainstorming for lawyers

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Do you struggle as a lawyer for creative thinking time?  If you don’t schedule it in – it simply doesn’t happen.  Juggling client files and professional development may leave little time for innovation. I was interviewed by The Lawyers Weekly on  the art of brainstorming. Let me know what you think! Click here: Kate Dewhirst


Legal Innovation – broadening your services

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From time to time I hear from lawyers that they feel “stuck”.  Stuck in a position that they don’t enjoy – but with a salary they feel they can’t match elsewhere. Here is an article to inspire you about how to take your legal training and expand your services into new territory. I was interviewed… Read more »


Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Team Privacy Training Events
October 16, October 24 and November 21

For Primary Care clinics, Children’s Aid and FHTs

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

Speaking event October 23, 2019

Osgoode Professional Development – Mental health Certificate

Kate joins the faculty for this training event. More details...

Primary care webinars: Managing Incapacity & Consent to Treatment

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our October webinar is about managing incapacity, and the November title is Consent to Treatment.
Full details of the 2020 webinar series and registration here.

Advanced Privacy Officer training
December 10, 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...

Privacy Officer training
January 20 & 27 and February 3,10 & 18, 2020

Kate is the program chair for the Osgoode Certificate in Privacy in Healthcare.

This program explores the range of privacy interests that must be protected in the day-to-day treatment of patients, the development of information systems and the creation of institutional policies. More details...

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
October 2, November 6 and December 4

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.

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

901 King Street West Suite 400 East Tower
Toronto Ontario M5V 3H5

(416) 855 9557

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