Branch MacMaster is involved in many different areas of health law. Our practice is distinguished by the many diverse interests we represent.
The practice is led by Jim MacMaster who taught health law as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Masters of Health Administration and Masters of Health Sciences programs offered by the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of British Columbia. Jim taught this course for nine years from 1989 to 1998. Jim is also a member of the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Bar Association Health Law Section where he has served on the Executive. As well, he is a member of the Medical Legal Society of British Columbia.In addition to Jim, the health law practice is made up of Donald Lebans, Susan Precious and Kate Saunders.
Our firm plays a leading role in managing regulatory issues for health professionals. We have acted as counsel for professional governing bodies advising on legislation, regulations, bylaws, the Health Professions Council scope of practice review and legislative review, applications for designation pursuant to the Health Professions Act, professional standards, professional discipline, and Health Profession Review Board proceedings. We have represented health practitioners before health profession colleges and the Medical Services Plan Audit Committee. We have represented medical doctors in residency training program appeals and private health care clinics and health professions in allegations of violations of the Medicare Protection Act.
Within the discipline context, we have acted for discipline committees on a broad range of topics including scope of practice issues, advertising, continuing education, sexual misconduct, and criminal offences. We have also been involved in advising colleges in relation to discipline following billing audit processes. We also have experience acting for individual health professionals who are involved in regulatory issues particularly with their regulatory body and with the billing audit process.
We have been consistently involved in a broad range of malpractice issues for health professionals. We act in the liability defence of chiropractors. However, we also act for plaintiffs in cases involving other health professionals.
Health Product Liability
We were engaged exclusively in B.C. by the former national blood transfusion service in connection with the liability defence of all blood litigation. This included numerous AIDS and Hepatitis C cases including the defence of the hepatitis class actions. As well, we have had experience defending a pharmaceutical company in relation to a drug product involved in experimental trials.
Hospitals and Hospital Privileges
We provided legal advice on medical affairs to one of British Columbia's largest regional hospitals. This advice focuses on hospital privileges for medical doctors, quality assurance issues, internal discipline procedures, and patient care issues. We have also acted for general practitioners, ophthalmologists,urologists, orthopaedic, general and oral surgeons in relation to various hospital privilege issues before hospital boards, the Hospital Appeal Board,the BC Supreme Court and the BC Court of Appeal. We have also acted as legal counsel for hospitals and health authorities in a variety of litigation including the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and Human Rights Tribunal.
We have had the opportunity to advise individuals, health professionals, and hospitals on consent, confidentiality and privacy, refusal of treatment, termination and withdrawal of treatment, and patient records issues. We have acted for individuals on out of province medical coverage claims and Medical Service Plan coverage appeals.
We have a broad personal injury experience, including having acted as defence counsel to private esthetics clinics, massage clinics and retirement homes, to religious institutions in relation to the defence of sexual abuse tort claims, and as counsel in serious brain injury cases. We have also done Plaintiff personal injury work in select cases including quadriplegic injured in swimming pool accident, brain injured victims of motor vehicle accidents, breast surgery malpractice and dental malpractice.
We have acted as legal counsel in class actions involving tainted blood, hair product, skin product and pace maker leads. We have also acted for a group of physicians in relation to patient information disclosure obligations in class actions.