Report: Doctor took 'selfie' with Joan Rivers during procedure before her death

Source close to brazen comedian's death investigation says Rivers suffered cardiac arrest while physician performed unauthorized biopsy.

September 17, 2014 15:41
1 minute read.
Joan Rivers in 2010

Joan Rivers in 2010. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A doctor who was performing an allegedly unauthorized biopsy on Joan Rivers in late August shorty before her death, took a "selfie" with the brazen comedian while she was under anesthesia, CNN reported a source close to the death probe as saying.

A doctor, whose name has not been publicly released, snapped the image amid the procedure on the 81-year-old's vocal cords during which she suffered cardiac arrest preceding her death, an employee at Manhattan's Yorkville Endoscopy clinic told investigators.

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CNN cited the hospital source as saying Rivers was present at the facility for an endoscopy by another doctor to help diagnose her symptoms, including a hoarse voice and sore throat.

Following the procedure conducted by gastroenterologist Dr. Lawrence Cohen, a biopsy was conducted by Rivers's personal ear-nose-and throat physician. Also according to the source, the specialist was not certified by the clinic to perform the procedure and did not have Rivers's prior consent to carry it out.

According to the report, investigators think that the cardiac arrest was triggered when the flow of oxygen to Rivers's lungs was cut off after her vocal chords started to swell during the biopsy.

After she stopped breathing, paramedics rushed Rivers to New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was put on life support and died a week later on September 4.

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