Joan Rivers dead: Endoscopy clinic under investigation claims 'We have never done a vocal cord biopsy'

A number of publications claimed that the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic had conducted the biopsy on the comedienne without consent

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The Independent Online

The clinic Joan Rivers attended shortly before she went into cardiac and respiratory arrest has officially stated that it has “never done a vocal cord biopsy”, despite several news reports to the contrary.

A number of publications claimed that the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic had conducted the biopsy on the comedienne without her consent. It was also reported that they had administered a general anaesthetic.

“A biopsy of the vocal cords has never been performed at Yorkville Endoscopy,” a statement from the clinic, that did not name Joan Rivers in person, read.

“General anaesthesia has never been administered at Yorkville Endoscopy.

“The type of sedation used at Yorkville Endoscopy is monitored anaesthesia care. Our anaesthesiologists utilize light to moderate sedation.”


It continued: “Our anaesthesiologists monitor the patient continuously utilizing state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and remain at the bedside throughout the procedure and into recovery.

“Yorkville Endoscopy has strict policies in place for the criteria of who gets treated in this centre versus in a hospital.

“Every patient is pre-screened by their gastroenterologist, an anaesthesiologist and a nurse for appropriateness to be treated at Yorkville Endoscopy. Some patients are also pre-screened by their personal physicians.”

The New York State Department of Health announced it was "investigating" the matter on 5 September.

The controversial comedian died aged 81 on Thursday 4 September after suffering a cardiac and respiratory arrest during a routine procedure performed at the clinic.

She remained in intensive care in a medically induced coma at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York for a week before she passed away.

Her daughter, Melissa, announced the death, in a New York hospital, in a short statement in which she said: “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers.

“She passed peacefully at 1.17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.

“My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Her funeral – a star-studded affair littered with expletives – took place on Sunday (7 September).