Melissa Rivers Files Malpractice Lawsuit

Medical/Surgical Operative Photography, by Flickr user Phalinn Ooi, licensed by Creative Commons.

First do no harm

The untimely death of the legendary Joan Rivers during a routine procedure took the world by surprise, including her close knit family. “The city’s medical examiner found that Joan Rivers died of brain damage due to lack of oxygen after she stopped breathing during the endoscopy. Her death was classified as a therapeutic complication”. Melissa Rivers has filed a lawsuit with the Manhattan Supreme Court alleging incompetence on behalf of the doctors, and seeks unspecified damages. According to the lawsuit the doctors mishandled this procedure, and performed a separate procedure without the consent of the patient or her family. Concern was expressed during the procedure in regards to Rivers’ breathing, this concern went unaddressed.

There were several instances of medical unprofessionalism throughout this medical procedure. Doctors took selfies with the unconscious comedian, later stating that she would have liked to see them. In addition, Rivers’ personal ENT specialist entered the operating room as an observer, but ended up performing two procedures in this facility, where she was not cleared to do so. Melissa Rivers’ attorneys state, “To put it mildly, we are not just disappointed by the acts and omissions leading to the death of Joan Rivers, but we are outraged by the lack of care and concern for Ms. Rivers on the part of her treating physicians and the endoscopy center where the treatment was rendered”. The comedians distraught daughter also states that doctors in the operating room failed to act when her mother’s vital signs began to drop.

The allegations outlined in this particular lawsuit would be unacceptable no matter who the patient. Additional light is being shed on this particular malpractice lawsuit due to status of the victim. “An investigation ordered by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found the clinic made several errors”. Although a lawsuit can be a lengthy and painful process, Melissa Rivers seeks to ensure that no other family needs to endure the pain that they felt in her mother’s passing.

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