Dr. Lawrence Cohen, the medical director and doctor at Yorkville Endoscopy in New York City who performed vocal cord surgery on the late Joan Rivers on Aug. 28 has reportedly been fired following her tragic death.
The world continues to mourn the loss of iconic comedienne, Joan Rivers, who passed away at the age of 81 on Sept. 4, after suffering from complications while undergoing throat surgery on Aug. 28. ABC News reports that Dr. Lawrence Cohen who performed Joans surgery and served as Yorkville Endoscopy’s medical director has been fired. Read below for all the details.
Joan Rivers Medical Director Fired — Steps Down After Icons Tragic Death
On Sept. 12, ABC News reported, “The gastroenterologist who performed the endoscopy on Joan Rivers is no longer performing procedures at the facility where the comedienne and actress went into cardiac arrest,” the site said. “Dr. Lawrence Cohen, the medical director of the facility, was asked to leave Yorkville Endoscopy and has since stepped down.”
The site continued, saying that a source told them that the former medical director had allowed, “a specialist unaffiliated with Yorkville Endoscopy to examine Rivers, even though that doctor was not authorized to practice in the clinic.”
The State Health Department is investigating, according to the outlet, but “neither Dr. Cohen nor the ENT specialist has been accused of wrongdoing, but the investigation continues.”
While the doctor has officially been fired, a spokesperson for the clinic released a statement to CNN on Sept. 10, that addressed what kind of operations are done at the clinic.
“A biopsy of the vocal cords has never been performed at Yorkville Endoscopy,” the clinic said. “General anesthesia has never been administered at Yorkville Endoscopy. The type of sedation used at Yorkville Endoscopy is monitored anesthesia care. Our anesthesiologists utilize light to moderate sedation.”
The statement also said talked about who can be treated at the facility.”Yorkville Endoscopy has strict policies in place for the criteria of who gets treated in this center versus in a hospital. Every patient is pre-screened by their gastroenterologist, an anesthesiologist and a nurse for appropriateness to be treated at Yorkville Endoscopy. Some patients are also pre-screened by their personal physicians.”
While the statement claims that a biopsy has never been performed at the clinic, as HollywoodLife.com previously reported, a source told the New York Daily News on Sept. 9, that the unplanned procedure is what lead to Joan’s death.
A source told the site, “The Aug. 28 biopsy at Yorkville Endoscopy, an E. 93rd St. clinic that usually only deals with digestive issues, caused Rivers’ vocal chords to seize — a condition doctors call a laryngospasm — cutting off her air supply.”
The source than claims, “Rivers’ doctor — who identified himself as an ear, nose and throat specialist — asked if he could use their instruments when the clinic’s doctor noticed “something” on Rivers’ vocal chords. He asked and they let him,” the source said. “A huge no-no.”
According to the source, the icon had “only signed off on an endoscopy — not the far more dangerous biopsy of her vocal chords.”
So sad. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to Melissa, Cooper and all of Joan’s loved ones.
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Do you think the medical director should have been fired? Let us know your thoughts below!
— Caitlin Beck