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Despite alleged surgery gone wrong, clinic remains open

The clinic where an attending physician allegedly performed an unauthorized and unplanned biopsy on the late Joan Rivers is still open and treating patients. Despite the aftermath and investigation that the surgery gone wrong spurred, neither the clinic nor any of its workers have been officially charged with any crime related to Rivers' death. Families of New Jersey patients who have fallen victim to a surgical error may be able to seek compensation on their behalf.

The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities is a non-profit organization that believes the clinic should suspend all of its current and future surgeries and procedures. Accreditors visited the clinic and apparently found multiple deficiencies. These deficiencies may be related to staff and doctors that were either uncertified or unaccredited, as well as procedures that were not authorized.

Some claim that state investigators have further looked into the doctor who apparently performed the unauthorized biopsy on Ms. Rivers. It has been pointed out that since no consent was given for the biopsy to be taken, her subsequent injury and death could have been the result of medical malpractice. The possibility of no reimbursement from Medicare after losing accreditation does not appear to have much affect on the clinic, as it may mainly treats wealthier patients who are not in need of government insurance. 

Although no accusations concerning Rivers' death have been formally confirmed, the deficiencies involving uncertified healthcare workers and unauthorized procedures could potentially put some patients at risk of injury or, tragically, death. When a surgery gone wrong results in the death of a patient, families in New Jersey retain the right to seek compensation on behalf of their loved one's estate. The successful litigation of a medical malpractice claim may provide recourse that is crucial to addressing related financial burdens, such as medical bills or unexpected funeral costs.

Source:, "Clinic that treated Joan Rivers continues operations", , Sept. 18, 2014

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Alan D. Bell
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