Investigators slam New York clinic over Joan Rivers’ death

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

The New York clinic where Joan Rivers suffered a cardiac arrest during a medical procedure failed to follow standard protocols while treating her, state health officials have said.

The controversial comedian died in September, aged 81, seven days after she stopped breathing during a routine operation on her vocal chords.

A report released by the Department of Health cited multiple errors, including failing to detect Rivers’ deteriorating vital signs during the procedure.

Negligence has not been alleged.

The death was classified as a “therapeutic complication”, meaning it was a known risk.

The comic had been sedated with the anaesthetic propofol, however the report said there there were inconsistencies recorded in its dosage.

It added there was no record staff at the clinic weighed Rivers before administering the drug.

They also noted a staff member took pictures of the comic without her consent while she was under anaesthesia, in violation of the clinic’s mobile phone policy.

Yorkville Endoscopy released a statement in response to the report, saying it has been cooperative and already taken steps to correct the situation.

GT (Gay Times) was one of the final publications to speak with Joan Rivers and named her among 30 ‘gay icons’.

In the interview Rivers spoke of her plans for the future and defended joking about Michelle Obama resembling a “tranny”.

Despite her controversial nature, many in the LGBT community saw her as a staunch ally.

Rivers began her charitable work for the community in the eighties, delivering food parcels at Christmas to men dying from AIDS in New York City.

She also spoke up in supporting of legalising same-sex marriage.