After news of the death of comedian Joan Rivers hogged the media attention for quite some time, now a new scandal has emerged. The Joan Rivers selfie controversy is heating up after it was revealed that Dr. Lawrence Cohen of Yorkville Endoscopy did, in fact, snap sickening photos of a sedated Rivers, the New York Daily News reports.
Dr. Lawrence Cohen, who was fired from his position as medical director after he performed the endoscopy on Joan Rivers that ultimately led to her death, had previously denied taking a selfie of Joan Rivers while she lay unconscious on an operating table. However, the clinic’s own records revealed that selfies of Rivers were taken.
“Notably, despite Dr. Bankulla’s clear statement in the medical records that Dr. Cohen took a photograph of Joan Rivers while she was unconscious during the procedure, Dr. Cohen’s unverified response… denies this fact.”
Based on official court documents, anesthesiologist Dr. Renuka Bankulla, who was involved in the surgery, stated in medical records that Cohen snapped selfies of Rivers. Furthermore, Dr. Gwen Korovin, who performed a transnasal laryngoscopy on Rivers, claims she had no idea the doctor was taking selfies during the procedure. Dr. Korovin says she was “unaware of any photos being taken.”
These new revelations have upset the Rivers family, and one of Melissa Rivers’s lawyers, Ben Rubinowitz, gave the following statement regarding the Joan Rivers selfie scandal.
“The conduct is unfortunately outrageous. You have a situation where doctors are taking photos of a patient when she needed assistance.”
Newsmax wrote that clinic director Daniel Adler also acknowledged to Rivers’ lawyers that several staff members admitted to witnessing Cohen take selfies. The attorneys are now requesting that the judge have clinic staffers provide sworn answers to their questions, but the defense team is dissenting.
Meanwhile, Cohen remains at the center of the death investigation of the popular comedian and presenter, and the family of Joan Rivers has sued Dr. Lawrence Cohen and others for “medical malpractice.”
According to CNN, a doctor performed a biopsy on her vocal cords without her prior consent.
“Even though you are a licensed physician, you still should have, if you will, the checks and balances to get your approval to practice in that particular place,” said Dr. Arthur Caplan, a medical ethicist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.
Joan Rivers was admitted on August 28 at the clinic for an endoscopy, a nonsurgical procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract, which was intended to find out the reason behind Rivers’ throat problems.
After the endoscopy was performed, investigators say that her vocal cords began to swell during the biopsy, which triggered respiratory failure that ultimately led to cardiac arrest, resulting in her death.
[Image via Jeff Schear / Getty Images Entertainment]