JOAN RIVERS "Murdered" ? supposed to undergo turned deadly when a doctor who arrived at the clinic with the legendary comic’s entourage


Joan Rivers was supposed to undergo a routine surgical procedure, but that all turned deadly after a doctor, who arrived at the clinic with the comic’s entourage, stepped in and performed an unplanned biopsy on her vocal cords.

The procedure is only to be carried out in a hospital.

Yorkville Endoscopy, a clinic that usually treats digestive issues, caused Rivers’ vocal chords to seize, cutting off her air supply. “A biopsy like that should only be done in a hospital setting,” the source said. “If she had been in a hospital when it happened, she might have been okay,” the source said. source

Rivers’ doctor, who is an ear, nose and throat specialist, asked if he could use their instruments when the clinic’s doctor noticed “something” on Rivers’ vocal chords, according to the source. “He asked and they let him,” the source said. “A huge no-no.”

A representative for Rivers declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Yorkville Endoscopy said she couldn’t comment because of patient confidentiality laws.


The routine surgical procedure Joan Rivers was supposed to undergo turned deadly when a doctor who arrived at the clinic with the legendary comic’s entourage performed an unplanned biopsy on her vocal cords, a medical source who was briefed on the case told The News.

Why did Joan Rivers have a medical crisis in a New York endoscopy clinic that led to her death last week? We still don’t know, but unnamed leakers are churning the waters in the ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile, the medical director of the clinic where she was taken ill is no longer medical director there, a possible first consequence of the Rivers tragedy.

But there’s still no clear picture of what exactly happened.

The New York Times has weighed in with a story, based on unnamed sources, that refutes a detail of an earlier New York Daily News story that claimed Rivers had a surprise throat biopsy at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic that cut off her air supply and led to cardiac arrest.


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Rivers was taken ill at the clinic on Aug. 28, was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital, and died a week later, without regaining consciousness, after life support was turned off. She was 81.

The state health officials who are investigating what happened aren’t talking — because they’re not supposed to. Rivers’ daughter, Melissa Rivers, isn’t talking, either. An autopsy has been conducted by the New York medical examiner but it did not establish an apparent cause of death, and the results of toxicology tests are still pending.

In the vacuum, there’s leaking. The Daily News started it out Tuesday with a report, based on a “medical source who was briefed on the case,” that a doctor who accompanied Rivers to the clinic performed an unplanned biopsy on her vocal cords, and this led to her air supply being cut off. Such biopsies are not supposed to be performed outside of a hospital.

The clinic denied that any biopsy was performed on Rivers or any other patient.
Joan Rivers died Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she was rushed after she stopped breathing during surgery on her vocal chords at an endoscopy clinic on Aug. 28. Rivers had become a living legend with her unapologetic style of comedy and daring sense of fashion. Here’s a look back at the diva’s ultra-glam ensembles over the years. Rivers, who had recently written the book “Diary Of A Mad Diva,” signs copies at Bookends Bookstore on July 1 in Ridgewood, N.J. (Photo: Jim Spellman, WireImage)

The Times story confirmed that Rivers’ ear, nose and throat specialist was present in the clinic operating room, even though the doctor was not authorized to practice medicine in the clinic, according to “people briefed on the matter.” The specialist was brought into the operating room by Rivers’ gastroenterologist, and examined Rivers’ voice box twice during the procedure.

But the Times story did not confirm any biopsy was performed, and repeated the clinic’s denial.

Meanwhile, the latest on Friday is that the medical director of the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic is out of the job, according to ABC News in a tweet.

“Dr. Lawrence Cohen, the medical director of the facility, was asked to leave Yorkville Endoscopy and has since stepped down,” the ABC affiliate in New York reported. “Sources tell ABC News that Dr. Cohen allowed a specialist unaffiliated with Yorkville Endoscopy to examine Rivers, even though that doctor was not authorized to practice in the clinic.”

But there’s conflicting reports, too, about whether he voluntarily resigned or was asked to step down, according to The Wrap, which quoted a clinic statement:

“Dr. Cohen is not currently performing procedures at Yorkville Endoscopy, nor is he currently serving as medical director.”


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