Joan Rivers’ personal doctor reportedly snapped a selfie with the unconscious star prior to the alleged “unauthorized procedure” that resulted in cardiac arrest and ultimately her death, according to a source from Manhattan’s Endoscopy Clinic.
Rivers, 81, had scheduled a surgery at the endoscopy clinic with gastroenterologist and medical director Dr. Lawrence Cohen to get a diagnosis on her sore throat and hoarse voice.
A source working with investigators said that the comedian’s personal ear, nose and throat specialist, who was not certified by the clinic, then performed a biopsy after posing for a selfie photograph with the heavily sedated comedian.
The unidentified doctor did not have proper consent to perform the procedure.
“Even though you are a licensed physician, you still should have, if you will, the checks and balances to get your approval to practice in that particular place,” said medical ethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan from New York University’s Langone Medical Center.
Investigators speculate that Rivers’ vocal chords began to swell, following the surprise biopsy, which cut off the flow of oxygen to her lungs and led to cardiac arrest. She was rushed to New York’s Mount Sinai hospital immediately, where she died one week later.
The Yorkville clinic issued a statement last Thursday denying that a vocal cord biopsy procedure has ever been performed at their hospital.
They followed up their denial one day later when they said that Dr. Cohen was no longer serving as the medical director, nor performing medical procedures.
They did urge that the ear, nose, and throat specialist, along with Dr. Cohen, were not being accused by investigators of any malpractice, as of yet.
Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic remains silent on the alleged unauthorized pre-operation selfie.