PARIS — A French surgeon accused of attempting to sell an X-ray of a Bataclan theater massacre survivor as a non-fungible token, or NFT, is facing legal action and severe backlash from medical leadership.
Emmanuel Masmejean, a senior orthopedic surgeon at the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris, had offered the image of the woman’s forearm, which clearly showed a Kalashnikov bullet lodged near the bone, as an NFT digital artwork, The Guardian reported.
According to London’s Evening Standard, the NFT was valued at $2,776 on the OpenSea website, which specializes in the NFT marketplace.
When asked for comment by Mediapart, which first reported the story, Masmejean called the incident an error and expressed regret for not asking the victim’s permission.
The Bataclan attack was part of a wave of shootings and bombings that swept the French capital in November 2015. When terrorists stormed the theater on Nov. 13, some 130 died, including the boyfriend of the woman whose X-ray Masmejean intended to sell, The Guardian reported.
Martin Hirsch, head of Paris’s public hospitals, called the incident “disgraceful” in a Saturday tweet.
According to a translation provided by the Evening Standard, Hirsh wrote, in part: “This act is contrary to sound professional practice, puts medical secrecy in danger, and goes against the values of AP-HP (Paris hospitals) and public service.”
NFTs are digital artworks that cannot be duplicated and which have gained a foothold in major auction houses during the past year, “generating several hundred million dollars” in monthly transactions, The Guardian reported.
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