Dykeman receives OBA health law award

By Jennifer Pritchett, Associate Editor

The Ontario Bar Association (OBA) has recognized Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman as the 2017 recipient of the Susan Hilary Davidson Memorial Award for Excellence in Health Law.

Dykeman, partner with DDO Health Law, received the award that recognizes “outstanding contributions to the practice of health law” and her “embodiment of the spirit of professionalism, volunteerism and collegiality,” says the OBA website.

Named for the late Susan Hilary Davidson, the award recognizes a dedicated member of the Ontario Bar Association and a leader in its health law section.

Among the criteria for selection, the OBA looks for a lawyer whose writing and public speaking has brought “outstanding contributions to the development of health law,” and it recognizes mentorship contributions to other lawyers.

Dykeman regularly works with hospitals, long-term care homes and community health-care organizations to help find solutions to legal, clinical, risk and privacy matters, describes the OBA in its brochure for the award dinner. Since 2004, she has taught a mental health law course in the Osgoode Professional Development Health Law LL.M.

She has prepared a medical assistance in dying toolkit for AdvantAge Ontario and has co-written a second Law Commission of Ontario paper on health-care consent and advance-care planning.

Dykeman became the vice-chair of the board of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto and deputy chair of the Research Ethics Board at Canadian Blood Services in June.

With her law partner, Toronto health lawyer Kathy O’Brien, she has launched an online learning platform for the health sector and beyond through Cove Academy.

She also teaches the Attorney Essentials course as part of Ultimate Attorney, with Draye Redfern.

Dykeman, in her acceptance speech to the OBA, emphasized her passion for health law and spoke of the vibrancy of the practice area.

She recalled meeting Davidson when interviewing for a position as a summer student with the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care in 1995. Dykeman noted it is such an honour to receive an award in her name.

Dykeman thanked her colleagues at DDO Health Law, her family, and paid special mention of her father, who practised law in New Brunswick. She also spoke of the importance of becoming involved in the community — something she says was instilled in her growing up.

Toronto health lawyer Lonny Rosen, partner with Rosen Sunshine LLP, received the award last year.

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