Head of Clinic in Joan Rivers' Case Out of Job

Reports say he let her unauthorized specialist perform a procedure
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 12, 2014 4:55 PM CDT
A 2009 file photo of Joan Rivers.   (LIONEL CIRONNEAU)

(Newser) – The medical director of the facility where Joan Rivers went into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure is no longer at the clinic. A Yorkville Endoscopy spokeswoman said Dr. Lawrence Cohen is no longer the facility's medical director, nor is he performing procedures there. She did not elaborate on the circumstances of the respected gastroenterologist's departure. TMZ, however, reports that the board fired him in the wake of Rivers' death, though it did not blame him for causing it.

Cohen is listed as a co-owner of the facility in New York state records. The Daily News reports that Cohen performed a routine endoscopy on Rivers, but then let Rivers' own ear-nose-and-throat specialist step in and perform an unplanned biopsy. It was during that biopsy that Rivers stopped breathing. The 81-year-old Rivers died Sept. 4 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City a week after going into cardiac arrest. The state health department has said it's investigating "the whole matter."

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