US comedian Joan Rivers poses for photographers as she presents 'Comedy Roast with Joan Rivers' at the annual MIPCOM television programme market in Cannes, southeastern France on October 6, 2009. Photo: Eric Gaillard

Joan Rivers’ family are considering legal action as doctors fear a stroke could leave the acerbic TV personality as “a vegetable” or “needing a wheelchair”.

Staff at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Sunday began the process of bringing Rivers out of a medically induced coma. The procedure will reportedly take until Tuesday. The 81-year-old Rivers went into cardiac and respiratory arrest on Thursday during a surgical procedure on her vocal chords at a private clinic.

Rivers’ daughter Melissa on Sunday released a statement thanking those who had expressed support for her ailing mother.

But according to the Daily Mail, there is anger behind the scenes.

“Shock and upset is turning to anger, and they are looking for someone to blame,” a source said.

“An 81-year-old should not have that procedure as an outpatient.

“Melissa is apparently totally hysterical and is at a loss for what to do.”

Rivers was put into a medically-induced coma in order to stabalise her vital signs, and since then has been breathing with the help of a life-support machine. According to a source quoted by The Daily News, the Emmy Award winner would not want to live unless she could enjoy “a full and active life. ... (She) would never want to be a burden on anyone.”