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As Controversy Over Joan Rivers' Death Simmers, Dr. Lawrence Cohen, Who Presided Over Her Endoscopy, Leaves NY Clinic

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Sep. 12 2014, Published 2:40 p.m. ET

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The Yorkville Endoscopy doctor who presided over Joan Rivers' Aug. 28 endoscopy, in which the comedienne initially fell ill, has parted ways with the New York City clinic.

Dr. Lawrence Cohen, a gastroenterologist who served as the clinic’s medical director, resigned after clinic officials asked him to leave, sources told ABC News.

The reason behind Cohen’s split with the facility, the network reported, was that he allowed another doctor who accompanied Rivers — an ear, nose and throat specialist NOT affiliated with, or authorized to work at, the clinic — to participate in the procedure in which she went into cardiac arrest.

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As previously reported, sources told the NY Daily News that it was specifically Rivers’ doctor, not Cohen, who suggested an immediate biopsy, asking for use of the clinic’s medical tools after Cohen detected an abnormality on her vocal cords.

“He asked and they let him: A huge no-no,” the source told the paper. The clinic said in a statement this week said that biopsies have “never been performed” on the premises, at all.

Melissa Rivers

Clinic officials declined comment to ABC, citing HIPAA laws. As of Friday, neither doctor, nor the clinic itself, had been implicated of any wrongdoing as New York’s State Health Department continues their investigation into the string of events that led to the Fashion Police star’s death a week after the initial procedure.

Rivers died Sept. 4 at Mount Sinai Hospital, a week after she fell ill during the initial procedure.



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