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Head of clinic where Joan Rivers stopped breathing forced out

Dr. Lawrence Cohen, the medical director of Yorkville Endoscopy, was forced out of the private Upper East Side clinic where Joan Rivers went into cardiac arrest.Thomas Monaster/New York Daily News Dr. Lawrence Cohen, the medical director of Yorkville Endoscopy, was forced out of the private Upper East Side clinic where Joan Rivers went into cardiac arrest.

The medical director of the private Upper East Side clinic where Joan Rivers went into cardiac arrest has been forced out.

Dr. Lawrence Cohen was revealed to have parted ways with Yorkville Endoscopy eight days after the death of the 81-year-old comic legend.

Cohen, a gastroenterologist, had come under fire after allowing Rivers’ personal ear, nose and throat specialist into the clinic — even though the doctor wasn’t authorized to practice medicine there.

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NYPD police officers walk in the Yorkville Endoscopy, where comedian Joan Rivers heart stopped during a procedure. The clinic’s director  is reportedly stepping down.
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Yorkville Endoscopy allegedly let Joan Rivers’ personal doctor do a biopsy, which a source tells the Daily News is a ‘huge no-no.’
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“Dr. Cohen is not currently performing procedures at Yorkville Endoscopy, nor is he currently serving as medical director,” a Yorkville Endoscopy representative said.

Cohen, who performed an endoscopy on Rivers, was fired by the clinic’s board, according to TMZ. Still, he wasn‘t being blamed for Rivers’ death, the gossip site reported

A source on Tuesday told the Daily News that an ear, nose and throat specialist who accompanied Rivers to the clinic performed an unplanned biopsy on her vocal cords.

The Aug. 28 procedure — which the clinic denied ever took place — is not supposed to be performed outside a hospital.

Comedian Joan Rivers died when she was taken off life support following an induced coma.LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS Comedian Joan Rivers died when she was taken off life support following an induced coma.

The biopsy caused Rivers’ vocal cords to seize up — a condition doctors call a laryngospasm — cutting off her air supply, the source said.

The News reported that Rivers’ doctor asked if he could use the clinic’s instruments after “something” was spotted on her vocal cords.

Flowers are placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star for Joan Rivers upon news of her death.MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images Flowers are placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Star for Joan Rivers upon news of her death.

“He asked, and they let him,” the source said. “A huge no-no.”

The source added that Rivers had only signed off on an endoscopy, not the far more risky biopsy.

Rivers’ death is being investigated by the state Health Department and the medical examiner.

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