Why Joan Rivers Will Get No Autopsy

Her grief-stricken daughter Melissa won't order one
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2014 12:25 PM CDT
This Oct. 5, 2009 file photo shows Joan Rivers posing in Cannes, southeastern France. Rivers, 81, died Sept. 4, 2014.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)

(Newser) – Did Joan Rivers die from lack of oxygen to the brain? We may never know. New York City's chief medical examiner pinned it on oxygen deprivation, but Joan's grief-stricken daughter Melissa wants no autopsy performed—and New York law is OK with that as long as there's no evidence of criminal activity, TMZ reports. The examiner's findings, released Thursday, call her death a "predictable complication" from a procedure on her throat and vocal chords (meaning either the procedure itself or the anesthesia, propofol, is to blame, the BBC reports, but sources tell TMZ it wasn't the propofol). Meanwhile, the New York State Health Department will keep investigating Rivers' death from an "unplanned" biopsy at an endoscopy clinic in Manhattan, Radar reports.

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