What is Health Law? Interview with Sarah Cohen, Founder of Fertility Law Canada and D2Law LLP Lawyer

 

The Huddle™ Podcast

This week on The Huddle Podcast, Mary Jane Dykeman interviews Sarah Cohen for our “What is Health Law?” series.

Sarah is founder of Fertility Law Canada and a lawyer with D2Law LLP. She. is a fertility law lawyer based in Toronto, but with clients throughout Canada and beyond.

In this episode of The Huddle Podcast, Sarah talks about:

  • How she came to practice and specialize in fertility law
  • What fertility law is and the kinds of supports her clients need
  • Why she loves her work

For more information about Sarah: http://www.fertilitylawcanada.com/sara-r-cohen.html

What is Health Law? Interested to know what a health lawyer does? Listen to leading practitioners in the field talk about their personal career paths, what’s on their desk, the kind of work they do and their visions for the future.

Health Sector Privacy Officer Training

 

Health Sector Privacy Officer Training – to register online

The privacy practices of health care organizations are under increasing scrutiny from patients (and their families), the courts, the media and the regulator, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC/O). As Privacy Officer, it is your job to ensure your organization is compliant with privacy laws and IPC/O guidelines. Whether you are new to the Privacy Officer role or are a seasoned privacy professional, you may wonder whether you have the latest information to do your job properly.  You may have already discovered that it is not enough to know the technicalities of the law; it is also important that you understand the spirit of the legislation and how to apply the law to specific and sometimes difficult situations.

This is the only course of its kind in Canada.

This course will give you confidence in your role by giving you the information and skills you need to succeed as a Privacy Officer.

You receive:

  • 20 hours of intensive instruction from leading legal educators in the field
    • 3 full day sessions each available in person in downtown Toronto or via webcast
  • Reassurance that you have the most current information on privacy practices and expectations for health care organizations
  • Practical and dynamic skills training for adult learners using scenarios, stories, quizzes and assignments
  • Sample tools to adapt to your organization for your everyday use, including (and many more):
    • Privacy program checklist
    • Privacy policies
    • Privacy breach checklist
    • Privacy breach notification
  • A privacy library
    • The primary Ontario privacy resource – “Guide to the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act: A Practical Guide for Health Care Providers” (H. Perun, M. Orr, F. Dimitriadis, Irwin Law, 2005)
    • Online resources are compiled for you in a few downloadable PDFs so you do not have to find the resources yourself and print them individually
  • A reading list to prepare you before each session
  • Homework to assist you to work through your own organization’s documents
  • A report card you complete yourself at the end of the course to share with your Board or supervisor to demonstrate your organization’s privacy compliance status and remaining privacy gaps, if any
  • A letter outlining the training you have received, for your organization’s due diligence

While we focus on Ontario legislation – this course is of value to any health sector Privacy Officer.

For more information go to our online registration platform. And for even more information, contact Franca Latino by phone at: 416-967-7100 x 242  or by email at: flatino@ddohealthlaw.com

Waiting for ONCA: Don’t put your by-laws on hold

Wondering what’s happening with ONCA (Ontario’s long-awaited Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010)?

Answer:  nothing.  We’re in limbo.  Back in September, the Ontario government announced that ONCA would be further delayed, indefinitely.  The announcement reassured that the government remains committed to bringing in ONCA “at the earliest opportunity”, but it did not identify a planned (or even anticipated) proclamation date.  Instead, it promised the sector at least 24 months’ prior notice of ONCA coming into force and effect.

There have been no developments or updates since September.  Practically speaking, the earliest we can hope to see ONCA come into effect is Spring 2018.

Everyone in the not-for-profit sector is eager to take advantage of ONCA, which will bring the sector participants into the 21st century.  Yes, there will be preliminary effort and resources needed to transition under ONCA – particularly applying for Articles of Amendment (which will amend the existing Letters Patent) and updating your organization’s by-laws.  But there’s a 3-year window to do that, so no urgent action will be required on the day ONCA comes into effect.

What we are looking forward to:

  • Once a not-for-profit corporation is transitioned under ONCA, member relations will be much easier. ONCA facilitates electronic communication with members and the holding of electronic member meetings.
  • ONCA allows the Board itself to appoint directors to the Board, on an annual basis, up to a threshold number. This could be a very valuable tool, allowing the Board to supplement its skill sets on an annual basis, as its priorities and objectives change.
  • ONCA allows the Board much more flexibility in delegating decision-making down to Board committees. This needs to be managed thoughtfully, but a stronger committee structure can allow the Board to focus its attention on the most strategically challenging decisions it faces.
  • ONCA offers not-for-profit boards comfort that, should they take actions that are inadvertently or technically off-side their articles of by-laws, those actions are nevertheless valid. Business corporations have enjoyed this reassurance for decades.

Areas of ongoing concern:

  • There is unease about the provisions of ONCA that give non-voting members voting rights in specific circumstances: g., amendments to rights attached to a group of members, amalgamation, and the sale of substantially all of the corporation’s property.  The Ontario government previously proposed (via 2013’s Bill 85) that those provisions would be delayed for a further 3 years after ONCA comes into force, presumably to give the government and sector further opportunities to consider the appropriateness of this scheme for the sector.  We will be watching to see if similar amendments to ONCA are introduced and passed by the Ontario government before ONCA comes into force.

Are you waiting for ONCA to update your by-laws?  Please don’t.

In chatting with a number of our not-for-profit clients, I’ve learned that many organizations that typically review their by-laws every 3 to 5 years – a good governance practice – have put that project on hold, waiting for ONCA.  Some haven’t touched their by-laws since 2010, when ONCA was passed by the Legislature.  Those by-laws are now at least 6 years stale, and in real need of some fresh eyes.

Reviewing and refreshing your organization’s by-laws should not be put on hold.  Best governance practices evolve.  Your governance structure changes.  Your by-laws are a governance and business critical legal document.  They need nurturing and care from time to time.

Don’t by like Lucky and Pozzo (that’s a Waiting for Godot reference) – stop waiting and be proactive.  Task your board’s Governance Committee with a full by-law review, if such a review hasn’t happened in the last 3 to 5 years.

If you are a FIPPA or MFIPPA institution – you must know the new recordkeeping obligations

On January 1, 2016, amendments came into force that impact recordkeeping obligations under FIPPA and MFIPPA. The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario released a document to explain the amendments and assist institutions to meet their new obligations called  “FIPPA and MFIPPA: Bill 8 – The Recordkeeping Amendments”.  As an example of the changes, institutions are now required to ensure the preservation of records and makes it an offence to alter, conceal or destroy a record with the intention of denying a right of access to the record or the information the record contains.

This is a must read for all health sector FOI co-ordinators.

 

 

IPC releases new privacy resource to assist health care organizations

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has released slides from the PHIPA Summit in December 2015 to assist health care organizations navigate new (and not so new) technologies. Click here to read the PowerPoint presentation.

The presentation covers:

  • Fax
  • Email
  • Mobile and portable devices
  • Encryption
  • Passwords
  • Wireless
  • Electronic medical records
  • Shared electronic health record systems
  • Unauthorized access to electronic records

This is a must read for all privacy officers of health care organizations.