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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

French surgeon tries to sell X-ray of Bataclan survivor’s bullet-riddled arm as NFT

French surgeon tries to sell X-ray of Bataclan survivor’s bullet-riddled arm as an NFT for £2,000: Victim says she’s ‘shocked’ as medic faces legal action

  • Emmanuel Masmejean operated on survivor of Bataclan terror attack in 2015
  • The unnamed woman had suffered a Kalashnikov bullet wound to her forearm
  • The senior orthopedic surgeon tried to sell NFT artwork of her arm X-ray for €2,446 (£2,060) on the OpenSea website
  • Patient was ‘extremely shocked’ to find the item for sale without her permission


A French woman who survived the 2015 ISIS terror attack on the Bataclan concert hall has described her ‘shock’ after a surgeon tried to sell an X-ray of her bullet-riddled arm as an NFT.

Emmanuel Masmejean, a senior orthopedic surgeon at the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris was revealed to be offering an image of her forearm, which shows a Kalashnikov bullet lodged near to the bone, as an NFT digital artwork.

The picture shows a forearm containing a Kalashnikov bullet and was on sale for €2,446 (£2,060) on the OpenSea website.

Writing about the sale, Masmejean wrote that the image belonged to someone he operated on, adding she was a ‘young patient who lost her boyfriend in this attack and had an open fracture of the left forearm with a remaining Kalashnikov bullet in the soft tissue’ .

He faces legal action and a disciplinary charge having not asked for permission from his patient, who he described as a young woman who had lost her boyfriend in the massacre at the popular music venue by Islamic State gunmen.

Orthopedic surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean, who practices at the Georges Pompidou public hospital in southwest Paris, was first reported by the Mediapart website on Saturday to be selling an image of the X-Ray as a digital artwork, without the patient’s consent

‘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,’ lawyer Elodie Abraham said in a statement.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, was ‘extremely shocked’ by surgeon Emmanuel Masmejean’s behaviour.

He called her on Sunday ‘to justify himself without expressing the slightest regret nor empathy towards her,’ the lawyer added.

The head of Paris’s public hospitals, Martin Hirsch, wrote on Twitter on Saturday confirming that a criminal and professional complaint would be lodged against the surgeon for his ‘disgraceful’ and ‘scandalous’ decision.

‘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,’ Hirsch wrote in a message sent to staff, which he shared on Twitter.

Asked for comment by Mediapart, Masmejean acknowledged that the sale was ‘an error’ and said he regretted not having sought permission from the patient.

According to Masmejean’s description on OpenSea, the patient ‘had an open fracture of the left forearm with a remaining bullet of Kalachnikov in soft tissues.’

The experienced surgeon, who is a professor of surgery and a specialist in treating arm injuries, wrote that he had personally operated on five female victims at the Bataclan.

He told Mediapart, who first reported the story, that he had withdrawn the sale, but the image was still visible on Sunday.

Using the blockchain encryption technology behind cryptocurrencies, NFTs are digital artworks that cannot be duplicated.

They burst into the mainstream last year and are now traded at major auction houses, generating several hundred million dollars in transactions every month.

The attack on the Bataclan was part of a wave of shootings and bomb attacks in the French capital on the night of November 13, 2015 by gunmen who claimed 130 lives.

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