While the official word is that comedy legend Joan Rivers died of complications from throat surgery—namely, oxygen deprivation that led to irreparable brain damage—we'll never know exactly how she died, because her daughter Melissa Rivers asked doctors not to perform an autopsy.

TMZ reports Melissa Rivers "was despondent when Joan died and told doctors she did not want an autopsy performed." Since there was no criminal probe into Joan's death, the Medical Examiner's Office honored Melissa's request under New York law.

But as The New York Times put it so eloquently before, Joan's death "raised a host of questions," specifically about what went down in the operating room. No doctor or nurse has been accused of wrongdoing, but still... questions have been raised. Did "deadly errors" occur during Joan's routine surgery at Yorkville Endoscopy on August 28? Page Six asks. "An autopsy might reveal a puncture in the throat," TMZ muses.

We'll never know. Page Six noted last week that Yorkville Endoscopy is "on the verge of being shut down" due to lapses in "governing body and management, surgical services, medical staff, and patient rights."

[Photo via AP]