Joan Rivers’ personal doctor reportedly performed a biopsy on his famous client without her prior consent — and then snapped a selfie of himself next to her while she was under anesthesia — just moments before she went into cardiac arrest, a new statement to investigators revealed.
Ms. Rivers was at Manhattan Yorkville Endoscopy for an endoscopy by a clinic doctor, gastroenterologist specialist Dr. Lawrence Cohen. After the procedure, which involved sliding a camera down her throat to help identify the cause of her hoarse voice and soreness, another doctor — Ms. Rivers’ personal ear-nose-throat physician — supposedly stepped in and performed a biopsy on her vocal cords, CNN first reported.
That doctor reportedly did not have Ms. Rivers’ prior consent to conduct the procedure and was not certified by the clinic to perform the biopsy on her vocal cords, CNN said.
A staffer with the Yorkville clinic has now told investigators that the second doctor, who’s still unnamed in media reports, also paused in his proceedings to snap a quick selfie — while Ms. Rivers was still under anesthesia, CNN first reported.
It was shortly after the biopsy started that Ms. Rivers’ vocal cords swelled and cut off oxygen to her lungs, investigators said. That’s when she went into a cardiac arrest and was rushed to New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital a mile down the road. Ms. Rivers died there a few days later.
Yorkville Endoscopy issued a statement last Thursday denying the clinic had performed a vocal cord biopsy, CNN reported. Neither Mr. Cohen nor the other doctor — Ms. Rivers’ reported personal ear-nose-throat doctor — have been formally accused of any wrongdoing, CNN reported.
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The clinic declined to respond to the staffer’s claim that the second doctor had taken a selfie, CNN said.
• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at email@example.com.
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