French surgeon faces charges after trying to sell terrorist victim's X-ray as NFT

An illustration of an x-ray
The woman was "extremely shocked" to find out about the sale. Photo credit: Getty Images

A French surgeon faces legal action and misconduct charges after trying to sell an X-ray of a patient injured in a terrorist attack as an NFT.

The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, was injured during the 2015 Bataclan attack in Paris in which 130 people were murdered by Islamic State terrorists.

Emmanuel Masmejean, a senior surgeon at the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris, put the X-ray of the woman's arm on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea.

The image showed the woman's forearm with a Kalashnikov bullet near the bone, with the listing saying the victim's boyfriend had died during the massacre.

Mediapart reported Masmejean as acknowledging he made "an error" but that is unlikely to save him from further action after trying to sell the NFT for the equivalent of NZ$4150.

News agency AFP said the woman was "extremely shocked" to find out about the listing, which has now been pulled from sale.

"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," the woman's lawyer said in a statement to the news agency.

Martin Hirsch, director general of the university hospital trust in Paris, described Masmejean's act as "scandalous" and "heinous behaviour" in a statement posted on Twitter.

He confirmed that criminal and professional complaints would be made against the surgeon.

Hirsch said it would be inappropriate to sell the X-rays of any patient but Masmejean's actions were made even worse because of the ongoing suffering of the victim of the terrorist attack.

"[We] condemn it with the most extreme firmness," he said.