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Health Law Group Spotlight: New Partner Keegan Boyd

The Health Law Group is delighted to welcome Keegan Boyd as its newest partner. Keegan is based in BLG’s Toronto office, and brings a decade of experience advocating in health law, professional liability, and commercial disputes.

Keegan obtained his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, his MBA from the Schulich School of Business and his engineering degree from McGill University before being called to the Ontario Bar in 2009. Prior to joining BLG, Keegan was a partner at another national law firm.

Keegan has extensive experience in defending health-care professionals against allegations of professional misconduct and negligence. He has particular expertise in defending clients in product liability matters and class actions. He has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, as well as other courts, administrative bodies and tribunals, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board, and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

We asked Keegan a few questions about his practice and insight on health law. If you would like to speak to Keegan about issues your organization is currently facing, he is always happy to assist at [email protected] or 416.367.6444.

1. What led you to pursue a practice in health law and defending health-care professionals?

Being raised by two physician parents (my mom is an OB/GYN and my dad a dual-certified internist and psychiatrist) meant I spent a lot of time in hospitals as a child. My siblings and I would often roam the hallways, playing hide-and-seek and tag, while our parents saw patients. My two older siblings became physicians, so I thought I would be adventurous and try something different.

After law school, I joined a firm that defends physicians and gravitated towards this work. I appreciated that my medical files involved real clients genuinely affected by the underlying events. I have since expanded my practice to represent hospitals, health institutions and other health-care professionals in a wide-ranging manner of disputes. Every day, I have the privilege of assisting sophisticated clients to navigate complex legal issues, while at the same time helping clients manage the stress of litigation so that they can focus on delivering quality care to their patients. It is a very rewarding practice.

2. What are you looking forward to most about being a part of BLG’s Health Law Group?

Having practised health law in Ontario for over a decade, I know that BLG’s Health Law Group is unparalleled in the breadth of expertise it offers to clients operating in the health-care industry. Over the years, I have been involved in files with most of the lawyers in BLG’s Health Law Group and I have always been impressed by their aptitude and professionalism. I look forward to working with and continuing to learn from some of the best health lawyers in the country and to assisting the many great health industry clients that BLG represents.

3. What has been the most significant change in health law during your years in practice?

Health-care delivery has evolved significantly as a result of the implementation of new technologies, including a multitude of software applications for electronic medical records (EMRs). While privacy concerns have been prevalent in recent years, the vast electronic collection and use of personal health information in EMRs and health-care “apps” has significantly increased the potential for security breaches. There has also been an increase in product liability claims due to the growing number of medical devices and surgical products on the market. I anticipate both of these trends will continue as health-care providers increasingly rely on new technologies and products in delivering care to patients.

4. Do you foresee any “hot topics” in health law over the next five years?

Privacy, cybersecurity, and Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) will almost certainly continue to be hot topics in health law over the next five years. In addition, we can expect to see a continued expansion of artificial intelligence in applications used to diagnose and treat patients, and the legal ramifications that follow from increased reliance on such systems.

5. And just for fun: what is your favourite book you’ve read in the past year?

Embarrassingly, I have to say either I Can Read with My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss or Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, two long-time favourites. With a 3.5-year-old son and 16-month-old daughter, finding time to read ‘real books’ has been a struggle this past year. I am, however, in the midst of reading both Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. Both are surprisingly fascinating, but the jury is still out on whether I will actually finish either book this year.