The negligent and unethical behavior of a New York doctor may have resulted in the death of beloved comedian Joan Rivers. Rivers visited an endoscopy clinic late last month for a scheduled endoscopy. An endoscopy involves the insertion of a camera down the throat, and was intended to diagnose Rivers’ sore throat and hoarse voice. It was performed under general anesthesia.

After the endoscopy was performed, a biopsy of Rivers’ vocal cords was done without her prior consent by the comedian’s personal doctor, according to a source. Under law, the doctor was not certified by the clinic to perform such a biopsy. Investigators believe that during the unauthorized biopsy, her vocal cords began to swell, which cut off the flow of oxygen to her lungs, which led to cardiac arrest. She was rushed to a New York hospital a mile away, where she died a week later. In addition to the unauthorized medical procedure being performed without the patient’s consent, a staff member told investigators that the doctor took a selfie with Rivers while she was under anesthesia.

If these allegations are true, not only did the doctor commit medical malpractice, but he behaved in an entirely inappropriate and offensive manner by taking the unauthorized picture while the patient was under anesthesia. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to competently perform his or her duties. In many cases, it can be difficult to prove whether a sick or injured patient was harmed by a doctor or other medical professional, or whether the medical issues were already present. An experienced medical malpractice attorney may enlist the assistance of a medical expert to evaluate a patient’s claim.

Not all mistakes or poor outcomes from a medical procedure are medical malpractice. Doctors and other medical professionals do not guarantee the outcomes of a particular treatment. A patient may respond differently to some treatments than other patients, and it may not be the fault of the doctor. Patients can often have unknown reactions to certain types of medical treatments, surgeries, and drugs, without any fault on the part of the doctor. Some common examples of medical malpractice include errors involving prescription drugs, mistakes during surgery, failure to diagnose cancer or other diseases, obstetrical malpractice, errors in the emergency room, anesthesia errors, mistakes during eye surgery, failure to diagnose heart attacks, errors involving prescription drugs, and more.

It can be very difficult to win a medical malpractice lawsuit without an experienced attorney. Proving fault in a medical malpractice case requires a lot of knowledge about how to proceed on such a claim. As you can imagine, doctors and medical malpractice insurers fight malpractice claims vigorously to avoid paying damages. It’s critical that you obtain a medical malpractice attorney to help pursue your case.

In addition, there is a limited amount of time in which malpractice claims can be filed. If you suspect that you or a loved one has been injured because of the negligence of a doctor, nurse, hospital, pharmacist, physical therapist, or another medical professional, contact an attorney as quickly as possible. At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that if a patient is harmed through the negligence of a medical professional, they should pursue their legal rights to the fullest extent allowed by law.

If you have been injured by medical malpractice in the Oakland-San Francisco area, including Hayward, Tracy, Fairfield, and the surrounding areas, call Micha Star Liberty, San Francisco medical malpractice attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She will provide you with a free consultation on your case. Call to learn more.


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