Mary Jane Dykeman

Mary Jane Dykeman
DDO Health Law
Health, Information Technology, Privacy

A partner with the Toronto firm DDO Health Law in Toronto, Mary Jane Dykeman divides her practice between health law and data law matters. She advises clients on a broad range of health law matters including risk management and strategic advice, mental health, consent, capacity and substitute decision-making. A significant area of her practice is devoted to privacy, cyber security, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Ms. Dykeman was called to the Ontario Bar in 1998 after receiving her law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1996, and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Bioethics from Mount Allison University in 1989. She has acted as in-house legal counsel to two Toronto teaching hospitals.

She founded the Mental Health Law course in Osgoode Professional Development’s Health Law LL.M. program, which she continues to teach with Michele Warner; as well as Osgoode’s Mental Health Certificate Program (now co-directed by Kristin Taylor and Michele Warner, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.)

With the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, Ms. Dykeman has co-authored two Law Commission of Ontario papers on health-care consent and advance care planning, including end-of-life practice tools. Her understanding of health system co-ordination for seniors, advance care planning, long-term care and end of life enables her to provide key compliance and wise counsel. Ms. Dykeman is the primary author of two toolkits developed with AdvantAge Ontario, a member association serving the long-term care sector, on medical assistance in dying and cannabis legalization, respectively. She also works extensively on challenging patient and family issues, and more recently on tools for family caregivers with The Change Foundation.

Ms. Dykeman provides practical privacy advice in the public and private sectors, and is a sought-after speaker. She responds to privacy breaches, advises on the creation of complex shared information systems, and trains extensively on legislative requirements and emerging trends.

Frequently assisting clients on issues that create significant clinical or enterprise risk management, Ms. Dykeman is often behind the scenes, providing strategic counsel and supporting senior teams to address the most difficult issues. This includes disruptive situations involving staff, patients/residents/clients and family members; as well as on shaping public policy in emerging areas such as AI.

Ms. Dykeman is vice-chair of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto board, and deputy chair of the Research Ethics Board of Canadian Blood Services. With Dr. Julia Spence, she has a platform for family caregivers of seniors, at

Mary Jane Dykeman Posts

Required reporting, doubling fines may stem privacy breaches

The progression from paper files to shared electronic records is a likely reason why Ontario’s provincial government is aiming to put more teeth into legislation to protect patients’ privacy and keep their personal health information confidential, Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman tells The Lawyers Weekly . Read more

Significant amendments to Ontario’s health privacy legislation announced

It’s a significant step forward that Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced today amendments to its health privacy legislation, under the Health Information Protection Act , says Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman . Legal Feeds Read more

New series to focus on employment law issues for health care organizations

Toronto health law firm Dykeman Dewhirst O’Brien LLP will be hosting a new monthly call-in program dedicated to employment law issues for health care organizations, led by its senior human resources counsel, Maria McDonald. Read more

Ottawa launches consultation on assisted dying: Dykeman

OTTAWA – The Harper government is finally set to announce its long-promised public consultation process on the contentious issue of doctor-assisted dying. Read more

Webinar to explain impact of Carter v. Canada on health care providers

Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman will co-present an upcoming webinar on physician-assisted dying, a term used in the recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in Carter v. Canada . The session is presented by a lawyer and an ethicist who have worked over many years on tough clinical issues, including end of life. Read more

Course to focus on legal risk management for nurses

Toronto health lawyers Mary Jane Dykeman and Elyse Sunshine are set to co-chair an upcoming program on legal risk management for nurses, hosted by Osgoode Professional Development. Read more

Ontario to strengthen health privacy legislation

Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman says proposed amendments to the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), if enacted, will deter those who break the rules and breach patient health information privacy. Read more

Prescribing antipsychotics in long-term care homes: report

A recently released Health Quality Ontario (HQO) report prompts a welcome discourse about the circumstances in which antipsychotic medications are administered in long-term care, says Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman . Read more

Patient privacy under intense scrutiny

The ability to safeguard patient privacy and the confidentiality of the records held by health-care providers is under immense scrutiny, says Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman . Read more

A need for sexuality policies in long-term care homes?

A recent case in Iowa that focused on questions about when a person is no longer mentally capable of consenting to sex highlights important legal issues that are becoming increasingly important in Canada’s aging population, says Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman. Read more

Decision raises questions about a child's consent to treatment

By Mary Jane Dykeman . A case that has received recent scrutiny relates to the vaccination of a child when one parent wishes it to occur and the other opposes it. The case, C. M.G. v. D.W.S. , 2015 ONSC 2201 (CanLII), involves a dispute between parents of a 10-year - old girl and raises a host of questions about how family law issues intersect with health care consent to treatment. Read more

Webinar to provide insight on physician-assisted suicide laws

On April 24, Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman will be part of an expert panel to provide an update on the law around physician-assisted suicide following the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark decision in Carter v. Canada . Read more

Dykeman to chair Osgoode healthcare privacy program

Toronto health lawyer Mary Jane Dykeman will chair the upcoming 2015 Legal Guide to Privacy and Information Management in Healthcare program, run by Osgoode Professional Development. Read more

Supreme Court reverses ban on doctor assisted death; unconstitutional

OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously struck down the ban on providing a doctor-assisted death to mentally competent but suffering and ``irremediable'' patients. Read more