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)

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 »




Lateral kindness and what healthcare organizations can learn from Indigenous communities (Guest Blogger: Steven Stechley)

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By Steven Stechley, McGill Global Health Scholar You know what kindness is… but what is lateral kindness? Lateral kindness is a term originating from the west coast that refers to non-hierarchical kindness within Indigenous communities. It is a concept that draws on Indigenous values which promote and celebrate positive things that take place within the… 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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Toronto Ontario M5V 3H5

(416) 855 9557

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