A French woman has filed legal action against her surgeon after finding out that he had listed an X-ray of her injuries for sale online as an NFT. This particular print depicts a rifle bullet that was lodged in the woman’s arm – an injury which she sustained from the 2015 Bataclan concert attack in Paris, which had claimed over 130 lives and injured over 400 victims.
The surgeon, Professor Emmanuel Masmejean of the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris, had put up the X-ray on sale via OpenSea, reportedly for US$ 2,776 (~RM 11,635) worth of Ethereum. The listing also included descriptions of the attack, the woman’s injury, and the fact that she had lost her boyfriend during the tragic incident. The NFT is now no longer listed on the online marketplace.
— Julien Bouteloup – bneiluj.eth (@bneiluj) January 23, 2022
“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 Elodie Abraham, the lawyer representing the Bataclan attack survivor, who wishes to remain anonymous. She added that Masmejean had contacted her client not long after receiving the lawsuit “to justify himself without expressing the slightest regret nor empathy towards her”.
Masmejean, on the other hand, released a statement on Twitter to publicly apologise for the offense and noted that the listing has been taken down in less than 48 hours after it was posted. “I realise that I totally lost myself in an inept and inappropriate approach which legitimately offended those whom I had the honour to care for: the victims of the attack,” the surgeon wrote. He also claims the X-ray’s NFT was never sold and had not made any profit from it.
Emmanuel Masmejean. pic.twitter.com/gzKjEPpg7Z
— EHM (@EHMasmejean) January 23, 2022
According to French news outlet Mediapart, Emmanuel Masmejean now faces legal action and possible misconduct charges. Martin Hirsch, Head of Public Hospitals in France, remarked that this incident is “contrary to sound professional practice, puts medical secrecy in danger, and goes against the values of [Paris hospitals] and public service.” He assured that the surgeon will face legal consequences, and the actions will be treated as criminal activity.