5 Reasons Why Joan Rivers Doctors are Guilty of Medical Malpractice

Joan Rivers

By Yolanda Spivey

An unplanned biopsy allegedly took the life of legendary comedienne, actress and talk show host Joan Rivers.

According to PageSix.com, Joan Rivers stopped breathing “after a pair of experienced doctors made a risky, spur of the moment decision as she lay anesthetized for an otherwise routine scoping of her throat.”

Rivers’, who was 81 years old at the time of her death, was in perfect health.  The night before, she performed a standup comedy routine in Times Square. Her close friends stated the only health concern Rivers had was her overly husky voice which was a recurring issue.  So Rivers decided to have a basic check-up at Yorkville Endoscopy clinic on East 93rd Street in New York City.

Sources told the NY Post, at the last minute, doctors decided to perform a biopsy on Rivers after discovering a polyp-like growth on her vocal cords.  The biopsy’s incision severed Rivers’ vocal cords, blocking off her breathing entirely which lead to brain damage and her ultimate death.  In laymen’s terms, she suffocated to death.

Medical malpractice is defined as professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.  Usually when a doctor deviates from the normal standard of care in the treatment of a patient do mistakes occur.

Does Joan Rivers’ family have a medical malpractice case on their hands?

The answer is YES! Here are five points to consider:

  1. The type of biopsy that Joan Rivers had was basically considered throat surgery and should have been performed at a hospital and not an outpatient center.  Was the outpatient center equipped with emergency supplies and machines?  That remains to be told. Most outpatient centers aren’t.
  2. The fact that the doctors took it upon themselves to do the surgery also was negligent.  It was not planned and they didn’t give Joan Rivers the chance to make the decision on whether or not she wanted that particular procedure done.
  3. The fact that the doctors performed this invasive procedure on an 81 year old woman at an outpatient clinic also comes into question.  Bottom line, at Joan Rivers’ age, this procedure should’ve been done at a hospital that is equipped with medical emergency equipment.
  4. The anesthesiologist should’ve been monitoring Rivers for what is called a “vasovagal response” which is a drop in blood pressure that indicates immediate trouble.
  5. The doctors should’ve immediately called 911.   Sometimes in medical emergencies, doctors will tend to try to fix the problems themselves. They are also scared that they may have made a grave mistake so they don’t call at all.

The Yorkville clinic released a statement that they have never performed an invasive procedure on any patient vocal cords.  They further stated that their clinic is equipped with the same-life saving equipment as a hospital emergency room.

In a follow up article, I will give 10 ways to recognize and prevent medical malpractice insurance.

Yolanda Spivey writes on a variety of topics and is the founder of Black Insurance News. She can be reached at info@blackinsurancenews.com or you can visit her Facebook page.

One Response to 5 Reasons Why Joan Rivers Doctors are Guilty of Medical Malpractice

  1. Josh Z. says:

    Doctors should not be put on a pedistal, yes they have trained for years but they are fallable just like the rest of us.

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