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)

Did you know employment termination packages are subject to pre-approval by the Ministry? Guest Blogger: Maria McDonald

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Calling all family health teams in Ontario.  Here’s something you should know! This blog was written by Maria McDonald from McDonald HR Law Did you know that section 4.1 of the standard family health team (FHT) funding agreement with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) requires FHTs to obtain written pre-approval from… Read more »


New swag! It dePENds

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I was scrolling around on social media the other day and there was a challenge posed by Twitter: “Pick two words from your bio. It’s your next tattoo.” For me, that’s easy to answer. Anyone who has attended training with me knows my signature phrase, “it depends“. When my health care clients ask me questions,… Read more »


Health Law Collisions: Immigration Law

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  Health law is a discipline that focuses on the legal issues in health care, on representing the interests of recipients of health services or health care providers or the health sector and its businesses and goods and service providers, or government and its policy makers. What I love about health law is that the… Read more »


Police! Six concepts health leaders need to know when interacting with police

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I am often asked by health leaders what to do when police arrive and need information about patients. Police officers and police departments are important community partners for health care organizations. As citizens, we all rely on the police to protect us and enforce the laws.  It is vital to the success of all health… Read more »


New Freedom of Information resource

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I just found this freedom of information resource and thought others might not have known about it either. It is intended as a document for the general public to understand freedom of information laws in Ontario. It is also useful for provincial and municipal freedom of information and privacy co-ordinators. How wonderful! Thank you Ministry… Read more »



Nuanced privacy decision from IPC on access to deceased patient’s records

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There is a new health privacy decision 75 of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Bottom line for health care organizations: If a client has died, you have to be careful about the release of health records to the estate trustees under the will.  If the will appoints multiple estate trustees (executors) – you… Read more »


New snooping case for health privacy – Decision 74 of the IPC released

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Decision 74 just released by the Information and Privacy Commissioner is another snooping case. My summary of all the IPC decisions is available here. A physician used a hospital’s electronic health record system to look at the records of a patient numerous times without authorization.  The physician was related to the patient by marriage and… Read more »


Protect yourself and your healthcare organization! Review your employment contract template and termination release language (Guest Blogger: Maria McDonald)

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By Maria McDonald, McDonald HR Law You ask your lawyer to draft your health organization’s employment contract or termination release language because you want it done right. You want to limit your exposure for termination pay in an employment contract You want to ensure the termination release prevents the employee from raising any more legal… Read more »



Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Team Privacy Training Events

February 1, 11, 12, 27, March 21

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...

Resilience for Lawyers

February 6, 2019

with Sharon Duffy and the Law Society of Ontario

Legal coaching session getting your goals back on track. More details...

Primary care webinars: Discrimination & Privacy Update

February 7 and March 7, 2019, 12 noon

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our February webinar is on avoiding claims of discrimination, and in March get an update on the latest privacy issues.

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!

February 6, 2019 9-10am and
March 6, 2019 4-5pm

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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