Guardian pulls opinion piece on cancer patient after public backlash

The Guardian has launched an ethics investigation after its US-based blogger Emma Keller wrote a critical opinon piece on a cancer patient tweeting her experiences of living with the disease.

The article filed on 8 January has been pulled by The Guardian pending investigation by the newspaper’s readers’ editor.

The controversial column concentrated on mother-of-three Lisa Adams who was diagnosed with cancer more than six years ago.

The original story can still be viewed on an online archive

According to Keller’s original column, she had serious concerns about her reason for following Adams’ constant tweets.

She said: “I even set up a dedicated @adamslisa column in Tweetdeck – but I felt embarrassed at my voyeurism. Should there be boundaries in this kind of experience? Is there such a thing as TMI?[Too Much Information]  Are her tweets a grim equivalent of deathbed selfies, one step further than funeral selfies? Why am I so obsessed?”

Keller’s husband Bill also wrote about the issue for the New York Times.  

Both articles have resulted in a significant public backlash with The Guardian removing Emma Keller’s piece entirely.

A spokesperson said: “The Guardian’s independent readers’ editor is still in the process of investigating the article in question, and will report on his findings at greater length in due course.”

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