Daphne Jarvis  


Executive Summary

Daphne Jarvis is a civil litigator specializing in health law, particularly representing hospitals and their employees in medical malpractice claims, inquests and disciplinary proceedings, and consent and capacity issues. A partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, she also provides day-to-day advice to healthcare providers on a wide range of policies and issues, including health information and documentation, child and adolescent health, end of life, and consent to treatment issues.

Daphne has developed a high profile as a resolver of difficult and complex cases, often through mediation, leading to creative and confidential settlements for hospitals and preserving reputations and community relationships. She is a frequent conference chair panellist, lecturer and instructor to groups of healthcare providers, lawyers and students.

Representative Work

  • Defends hospitals and their employees in medical malpractice lawsuits on retainer with the Healthcare Insurance Reciprocal of Canada (HIROC).
  • Acts as counsel for hospitals and other healthcare facilities at Coroner's inquests by direct retainer, including inquests covering multiple deaths.
  • Provides ongoing advice, legal support and policy review to various hospitals, children's mental health centres, community care access centres and community health centres, including capacity and consent to treatment, child and adolescent health, and end of life issues.
  • Acts as counsel to health providers in hearings before the Consent and Capacity Board and appeals taken from those decisions.
  • Retained frequently as counsel to individual health providers involved in complaints or disciplinary hearings before their professional bodies, and in reviews of those decisions by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board.
  • Appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in Starson v. Swayze, 2003 SCC 32, as counsel to the intervenor, The Schizophrenia Society of Canada
  • Represented Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre during the first stage of the Rasouli litigation, after which the Hospital was no longer a party (Cuthbertson v. Rasouli, 2013 SCC 53; upholding 2011 ONCA 482; upholding 2011 ONSC 1500).
  • Represented the applicant Hospital in the case of Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation v. D.H., 2014 ONCJ 603, regarding a parent refusing chemotherapy for a First Nations child in favour of traditional medicines. 

Publications & Presentations

  • Presenter, "Ontario's Legislative Framework and Update," OHA Conference, Medical Assistance in Dying, December 2016.
  • Presenter, "Discontinuing Technological Support in the Conscious Pediatric Patient," Sick Kids Ethics Rounds, November 2016.
  • Co-author, "CCB Rules No Jurisdiction Where Patient Declared Brain Dead," Risk Management in Canadian Health Care, Vol. 18 No. 6, BLG's Health Law Bulletin, November 2016.
  • Guest lecturer, "Legal and Ethical Issues at the End of Life in Canada," University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics Masters Program, University of Toronto, October 2016.
  • Panel Chair, "Providers and Patients at the Floodgates," Ottawa Conference on Medical Assistance in Dying, hosted by the University of Ottawa Centre for Health Law Policy and Ethics, October 2016.
  • Panelist, "Medical Assistance in Dying - Practical Considerations," OHA Webcast, September 2016.
  • Presenter, "The Board's Ethical Dilemma in Medical Assistance in Dying," OHA's Health Leadership Summit - Governance Forum, September 2016.
  • Participant, "Legal Ethics and Practice for the Last Stages of Life," Law Reform Commission of Ontario's Roundtable, June 2016.
  • Panelist, "Medical Assistance in Dying: The Role of the Board," OHA Webcast, June 2016.
  • Panelist, "Medical Assistance in Dying: What Hospitals Need to Know," OHA Webcast, June 2016.
  • Chair, OHA Conference, Partners in End of Life Care: Insights, New Approaches and Policy, May 2016.
  • Speaker, "Legal Updates and Guidance," OHA Conference, Partners in End of Life Care: Insights, New Approaches and Policy, May 2016.
  • Speaker, "Physician-assisted Dying: Updates and Developments," OHA Conference, Partners in End of Life Care: Insights, New Approaches and Policy, May 2016.
  • Co-presenter, "Treatment of Children and Adolescents - Hot Topics", HIROC webinar, April 2016.
  • Co-presenter, "Ethical Issues in Health Care - End of Life", Osgoode Certificate in Health Law, April 2016.
  • Speaker, "Consent Conversations Before Major Surgery", Trillium Health Partners Regional Ethics Program - Joint Ethics/Neuroscience Rounds, April 2016.
  • Panellist, "Interim Requests for Physician-Assisted Death in Ontario: The Legal Framework", OHA Webcast, March 2016.
  • Presenter, "Physician-Assisted Death in Ontario - What Do I Need to Know Now?", Medico-Legal Society of Toronto audioconference, March 2016.
  • Co-author, "Update on Physician-Assisted Death: Superior Court Issues Practice Direction with Requirements for Bringing an Application", BLG Health Law Bulletin, February 2016. Also published in Risk Management in Canadian Health Care, Vol 18, No. 1, February 2016.
  • Co-Author, "Physician-Assisted Death In Canada: The Next Four Months", BLG's Health Law Bulletin, January 2016.
  • Chair and co-presenter (with Dr. Jeff Blackmer, Canadian Medical Association), "Care at the End of Life in Canada - A Rapidly Evolving Landscape", Medico-Legal Society of Toronto, November 2015.
  • Panellist, "Plenary #3: Organization of Medical Aid in Dying Services", Medical Aid in Dying - Developing a Framework conference, jointly sponsored by Health Law in Canada and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, October 2015.
  • Author, "Update: Recent Case Regarding Parent Refusing Chemotherapy for First Nations Child in Favour of Traditional Medicines: What Are the Implications for Health Care Providers?," BLG Health Law Bulletin, May 2015. Also published in Risk Management in Canadian Health Care Vol.17, No.3, June 2015.
  • Speaker, "From Cradle to Grave - The Effect of the Carter Decision," Crown Summer School, June 2015.
  • Member of Planning Committee and Presenter, "Legal Updates on End of Life Care," OHA End of Life Conference, June 2015.
  • Co-presenter, "Ethical Issues in Health Care - End of Life/Human Reproduction/Consent," Osgoode Certificate in Health Law, May 2015.
  • Presented, "The Law is Evolving: Physician-Assisted Suicide - Understanding the SCC Decision in Carter v. Canada " – an Overview of the Post-Decision Legislative Environment and Implications for Hospitals. OHA Webcast, March 2015.
  • Presented, "The Treatment of Children and Adolescents – Special Issues," Osgoode National Symposium for Mental Health Law, December 2014.
  • Author,"Recent Case Regarding Parent Refusing Chemotherapy for First Nations Child in Favour of Traditional Medicines: What are the Implications for Health Care Providers?," BLG Health Law Bulletin, October 2014.
  • Presenter, "Hot Topics in Patient Relations," Ontario Patient Relations Association, October 2014.
  • Author, "Legal Developments in End-of-life Issues," Healthcare Quarterly Vol. 17 No. 2, September 2014.
  • Presenter, "End of Life Issues – the Impact of the Supreme Court of Canada Decision," at HIROC's Risk Management Conference, April 2014.
  • Chair, "Communications Between Counsel and Experts – Moore vs Getahun – Have We Entered a New Era?," Medico-Legal Society of Toronto Program, March 2014.
  • Panellist, "Engaging the Rasouli lawyers – Legal and Ethical Insights and Implications," at Ethics Grand Rounds at the Hospital for Sick Children, March 2014.
  • Committee Member and Presenter, "Legal Developments in the End of Life Issues," at the Ontario Hospital Association's conference on Legal and Ethical Issues in the End of Life Care, March 2014.
  • Chair and Presenter, "The Impact of the SCC Decision in the Rasouli Case," at an MLST program, November 2013
  • Presented OHA Webinar, "Understanding the Rasouli Decision," October 2013.
  • Presenter, "Consent and Capacity Issues," to nurse practitioners in the Ontario Community Outreach Program for Eating Disorders, June 2013.
  • Presenter and Author, "End of Life cases before the CCB (while waiting for Rasouli)," MLST Program, September 2013.
  • Presenter, "The Rasouli Case – A Hospital Lawyer's Perspective," OHA Webinar, April 2013.
  • Presenter, "How to Prepare for CCB Hearings in Medical Cases," Ethics Grand Rounds at Grand River Hospital, January 2013.
  • Co-Presenter, "Disclosure of Harm," to the clinical leaders at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, February, 2013.
  • Presenter, "Best Practices for E-Charting," as part of HIROC's webinar series, February, 2013.
  • Continuing Education Speaker, "Civility in the Hearing Room," for members of the Health Services/Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB/HSARB), November 2012.
  • Presenter, "Quality of Care Activities; Administrative and Governance Roles," to Board members and senior leaders of Cambridge Memorial Hospital, March 2012.
  • Member, Planning Committee of Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) Conference on End of Life Care, and Speaker, "Legal Perspective (The Rasouli case)," February 2012.
  • Co-Presenter, "Children and Adolescents' Mental Health Law Issues: What You Need to Know," Osgoode National Health Symposium, October 2011.
  • Speaker, "The Role of the Chief Nursing Executive as a Member of the Quality Committee," Conference on The Changing Health-Care Landscape: Nursing Leadership in Ontario's Public Hospitals – Implications and Opportunities for Chief Nursing Executives, December 2011.
  • Legal Member of Expert Panel, The Hospital for Sick Children's Symposium "Navigating Contentious Cases in the Public Eye," October 2011.
  • Speaker, "Legal Perspective on the 'Medical DNR' in Canada," presentation to University of Toronto internal medicine residents, May 2011.
  • Co-Author, "The Ontario experience of involuntary treatment of pediatric patients with eating disorders," International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 2010, 33, 138-43 (with Dr. Pier Bryden and Dr. Cathleen Steinegger of the Hospital for Sick Children).
  • Co-Chair, OHA/ BLG/HIROC Conferences on Current Issues in Risk Management, 2005-08.
  • Guest Lecturer to students in the Masters of Science and Bioethics Program at the Joint Centre of Bioethics, University of Toronto, 2009-13, on specific cases of interest (Starson and Rasouli).
  • Panellist, "The Grey Matter: Critical Care, Ethics and the Law," Critical Care Canada Forum Workshop, 2008.
  • Panellist, "Managing Disclosure of Harm: Entrenching Transparency and Establishing Accountabilities Within Your Organization," The Canadian Institute's Patient Safety Summit, 2007.
  • Chair, The Canadian Institute's 8th & 9th Annual Conferences on Reducing the Risk of Hospital Liability, 2006 and 2005.
  • Co-Chair, The Canadian Institute's Conference on the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2005.
  • Submission to the Standing Committee on General Government on Bill 159 - the Personal Health Information Privacy Act, 2000.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2018 edition (and since 2009) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Health Care Law, Medical Negligence, Personal Injury Litigation).
  • Recognized in the 2015, 2014 and 2013 editions of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Medical Negligence).
  • Martindale-Hubbell® BV® Distinguished™ 4.4 out of 5 Peer Review Rated.