Surgeon Facing Legal Action For Trying To Sell Shooting Victim's X-Ray As An NFT

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
Left side - A profile shot of a surgeon with a face mask, hair net, and glasses on. Right side- an x-ray of someone's hand.
Pexels | cottonbro

As NFTs grow more and more popular in the online sphere, we're starting to see more examples of them being used nefariously or via shadier means. We're also seeing more abstract things being sold as NFTs outside the realm of traditional artwork.

These two points converge into a French surgeon facing legal action for trying to sell one of his patient's x-rays as an NFT.

In 2015, a horrific attack happened in Paris.

A suburban French skyline.
Unsplash | Nil Castellví

On November 13 of that year, there was a wave of shootings and bombings across the city as part of an organized terrorist attack. 130 people were killed that night with another 416 left injured.

Of that 130, 90 of the fatalities happened at the Bataclan theatre during a concert.

A survivor of the attack on that theater is speaking out.

A close shot of a surgeon's face, fitted with a face mask and glasses.
Unsplash | National Cancer Institute

Not regarding the events of the night, but rather against her surgeon.

Emmanuel Masmejean, senior orthopedic surgeon at the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris, operated on five female victims of the Bataclan theater attack and recently tried to sell one of their x-rays as an NFT.

The x-ray showed a bullet fired by one of the gunmen in the victim's arm.

A x-ray of a person's wrist.
Unsplash | Cara Shelton

He did not ask permission to try and sell her x-ray, and described in the description of the NFT listing, using some concerningly specific details.

“This doctor, not content with breaking the duty of medical secrecy towards this patient, thought it would be a good idea to describe the private life of this young woman, making her perfectly identifiable,” said the woman’s lawyer, Elodie Abraham.

The victim has, understandable, chosen to remain anonymous.

A laptop in a dark room, partially closed.
Unsplash | Ján Vlačuha

Her lawyer claims that Masmejean called her "to justify himself without expressing the slightest regret nor empathy towards her".

The photo of her x-ray was listed on NFT marketplace OpenSea for $2,776, but was removed before it could be sold.

She was “extremely shocked” when she found out about the NFT.

A Paris skyline.
Unsplash | Anthony DELANOIX

Masmejean now faces legal action and a disciplinary charge for his behavior. What he did was a complete breach of privacy in the name of personal gain. Thankfully, he was unable to sell the NFT before the victim put her foot down.

h/t: The Guardian