Joan Rivers' doctor took a selfie with the unconscious comedian in the operating room before her endoscopy, according to a new report from CNN. The ear, nose and throat specialist, who hasn't been publicly identified, was also allowed to perform a biopsy on her vocal cords, a procedure that Rivers hadn't previously approved and which may have led to her cardiac arrest.
Citing "a source close to the death investigation," CNN reports that the doctor was allowed into the operating room at Yorkville Endoscopy, although he wasn't affiliated with the clinic in any way. While there, the source added, he "took a selfie photo in the procedure room while Rivers was under anesthesia." After Dr. Lawrence Cohen, medical director of Yorkville, finished performing the procedure on Rivers, he stepped aside and allowed the ear nose and throat specialist to biopsy her vocal cords. During that procedure, CNN says, her vocal cords "began to swell," cutting off oxygen to her lungs and leading to her cardiac arrest.
Yorkville Endoscopy previously released a statement denying that Rivers' vocal cords were being biopsied when she went into cardiac arrest. The statement didn't address reports that Rivers' personal doctor was allowed in the operating room. Yorkville's medical director, Dr. Lawrence Cohen, who was performing the endoscopy on Rivers, has already stepped down from his position. Neither he nor Rivers' doctor have been accused of any wrongdoing by the state Health Department officials investigating Rivers' death.
[Image via Associated Press]