All kinds of things have been turned into non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, but the craze has taken a disturbing turn that has a French doctor now facing legal action. AFP reports that Emmanuel Masmejean, a senior orthopedic surgeon at Paris' Georges Pompidou public hospital, is accused of trying to sell an X-ray of one of his former patients—a survivor of the 2015 mass shooting at the Bataclan theater in the French capital. The X-ray of the woman, whom Masmejean has described as having lost her boyfriend in the attack, showed her left forearm, with a Kalashnikov bullet nestled in near the bone.
Mediapart first reported over the weekend on the attempted sale on the OpenSea NFT marketplace, where Masmejean apparently put the X-ray up for grabs until Feb. 19 for $2,776.70. The patient's lawyer says she was "extremely shocked" to find out about her X-ray being hawked, considering the surgeon didn't ask for her consent for such a sale, per AFP. The attorney adds that Masmejean reached out to her client, who wants to remain anonymous, over the weekend, and that he tried "to justify himself without expressing the slightest regret nor empathy towards her."
The patient isn't the only one perturbed by the doctor's actions. "People are shameless," wrote one commenter on Twitter, per France 24. Martin Hirsch, the director of Paris' public hospitals, also had some words on the matter, calling it "disgraceful" and "scandalous" in a message he sent to staff throughout the hospital system. "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," he wrote, adding that professional and criminal complaints would be filed. Masmejean, for his part, tells Mediapart that he's sorry for not getting the woman's OK, acknowledging that trying to sell it was an error, and that he's taken the NFT listing off the OpenSea site. (Read more NFT stories.)