Proposed law removes discipline panel discretion in sex abuse cases

Although the sexual abuse of patients by health professionals is a serious concern, newly introduced legislation aimed at addressing this problem limits the ability of College discipline panels to apply case-specific discretion when imposing penalties, Toronto health lawyers Lonny Rosen and Elyse Sunshine write in the Toronto Star . Read more

Regulatory policies key when accessing health data on the cloud

When entering into an agreement with a cloud service provider, health professionals have to ensure that any policies and guidelines from their regulatory bodies regarding electronic health records are taken into account, Toronto health lawyer Elyse Sunshine says in Forensic Accounting & Fraud , a special supplement published by The Bottom Line and Lawyers Weekly. Read more

The holidays: a time to be extra compassionate in health care

The holiday season is a stressful time for everyone, making it important for health-care providers to be extra diligent about showing compassion to patients and their families, says Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst . Read more

Monthly webinars to explore legal issues for family health teams

Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst will be hosting monthly webinars throughout 2017, focusing on legal issues facing family health teams (FHTs). Read more

Proposed law will boost health Colleges’ powers: Sunshine

TORONTO — Ontario has introduced legislation that would see doctors' licences revoked if they grope a patient. Read more

What family health teams need to know about social media and the law

By Kate Dewhirst. On Dec. 3 the CBC reported that a nurse was found guilty of professional misconduct in Saskatchewan for personal comments she made on Facebook and Twitter about care received by her grandfather. You can read the CBC story here and the details of the finding of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association here. Read more

Bill 84 proposes legislative changes to support medical assistance in dying

Ontario's Bill 84, introduced Dec. 7, is a step towards the creation of a responsive framework for those who choose to provide or receive medical assistance in dying, says Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman. Read more

Health-care sector doesn't have to wait for procurement review to collaborate

Health organizations interested in consolidating the procurement of goods and services with other entities need not wait until the Ontario government completes its Health-care Sector Supply Chain Strategy Expert Panel review, says Toronto health lawyer Michael Gleeson. Read more

Privacy Commissioner can review exercises of discretion

By Lonny Rosen and Elyse Sunshine . Earlier this year, in PHIPA Decision 25 , the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) denied the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s (the Ministry) request for reconsideration of PHIPA Decision 19 – a decision in which the main issue was the IPC’s jurisdiction over complaints about refusals to disclose the personal health information (PHI) of deceased family members (see our blog post about it here .) Read more

Kate Dewhirst launches Kate Dewhirst Health Law

Toronto health lawyer Kate Dewhirst has launched a new firm, Kate Dewhirst Health Law . Read more

Vital for health professionals to minimize staff regulatory risk

Unlike in other sectors, health professionals can face regulatory action for the wrongful conduct of their employees — making it crucial that they put policies and procedures in place that aim to prevent scenarios where support staff fail to fulfill their duties, Toronto health lawyers Elyse Sunshine and Lonny Rosen write in Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Expert evidence needed when moving to dismiss malpractice claim

By Lonny Rosen and Elyse Sunshine . Unfortunately for health professionals in all disciplines and practice settings, a malpractice action can be commenced any time a patient or client suffers harm as a result of what the patient or their representatives perceive as a failure on the part of the professional. While cases are often brought following a bad outcome, a malpractice action will not succeed unless the plaintiff can establish that the health professional has breached the standard of care and that this breach caused the damage that the patient or client suffered. The plaintiff will almost always require expert evidence to prove that the professional’s conduct breached the applicable standard of care. Where a plaintiff fails to provide an expert report supporting his or her allegations of negligence, the defendant health professional can seek to have the claim dismissed through a motion for summary judgment, on the basis that there is no genuine issue requiring a trial. Read more

Nurse charged with murders raises regulatory issues

Horrific allegations that a former Ontario nurse murdered eight long-term-care residents over a seven-year period raises issues relating to the regulation of health-care professionals, says Toronto health lawyer Elyse Sunshine . Read more

Updates to CPSO physician behaviour policy

By Lonny Rosen and Elyse Sunshine . Following public consultation, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (the College) updated its policy on Physician Behaviour in the Professional Environment in May 2016 . This policy sets out the College’s expectation that physicians working in a professional capacity act in a respectful, courteous and civil manner towards their patients, colleagues and others involved in the provision of health care and not engage in unprofessional and/or disruptive behaviour. In essence, the amendments to the policy clarify and simplify, but do not alter, existing principles and expectations. In this blog post, we review what has specifically changed in the most recent version of the policy and, in doing so, aim to provide a reminder to physicians of their responsibilities in the workplace. Read more

McCain annulment case points to health law issue

A court’s decision relating to the admissibility of a psychiatrist's report in a high-profile annulment case in Ontario has underscored that complaints or discipline processes under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) should not be used by parties to advance their interests in civil litigation or any other dispute, says Toronto health lawyer Lonny Rosen. Read more