The inquest into the death of legendary comedienne Joan Rivers has uncovered the suspicion of improper procedures and unethical behaviour. It has been alleged that the hospital in which she was taken ill a week before her death allowed an unlicensed doctor to perform an unauthorised medical procedure on the 81-year-old star, CNN reported.

Joan Rivers tribute
An improperly authorised medical procedure was performed on Joan Rivers, according to allegations.

Even though the doctor in question was Rivers’ personal ear-throat-nose physician, a biopsy that he performed on her vocal cords, presumably to discover the origin of the throat complaint that had led her to be there in the first place, was done so without Rivers’ prior consent.

The revelations have come from an unidentified staff member at Manhattan’s Yorkville Endoscopy clinic, who told investigators that the cardiac arrest that eventually caused her death occurred as the doctor began performing a biopsy on Rivers’ vocal cords. The clinic has already issued a denial that the biopsy caused her death.

Rivers was at the clinic for an endoscopy that she had originally scheduled to be performed by another doctor, gastroenterologist Dr. Lawrence Cohen, on the morning of 29th August. It was after that he had finished his work that the biopsy occurred.

Furthermore, that source has also alleged that the unlicensed staff member took a selfie photo in the procedure room while Rivers was under an anaesthetic. If true, this behaviour would be regarded as highly unprofessional by investigators though it almost certainly had no bearing on the outcome of the tragic situation.

More: Jerry Seinfeld shares “heartbreaking” text sent to him by Joan Rivers before her death.

Investigators into her death believe that the allegedly improper biopsy caused her vocal cords to swell, thus cutting off the flow of oxygen to her lungs and therefore causing the cardiac arrest.

It must be emphasised that neither Cohen nor the unidentified physician have been accused of any wrongdoing by the investigators, though Cohen has temporarily stepped down from his post as medical director of the Yorkville clinic. The clinic has also declined to respond to the selfie allegations, claiming that it would violate federal privacy law.