French surgeon tries selling Bataclan victim′s X-ray as an ′NFT′ | News | DW | 23.01.2022

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French surgeon tries selling Bataclan victim's X-ray as an 'NFT'

A senior doctor working at a public hospital in Paris faces litigation for trying to sell an X-ray as a digital artwork. The head of public hospitals in Paris slammed the move as "disgraceful" and "scandalous."

People stand outside the Bataclan concert venue for a memorial event in Paris

Attacks on the Bataclan theater and other locations in Paris claimed 150 lives in 2015

A senior French surgeon is facing legal action for allegedly trying to sell a patient's X-ray as a so-called NFT digital image, without permission.

French online investigative publication Mediapart first reported on the incident on its website on Saturday.

The image in question is an X-ray of one of the survivors of the 2015 Bataclan theater siege. It showed the forearm of the victim with a bullet embedded in it.

The image was placed on sale on a website specializing in NFT sales with a price tag of $2,776 (€2,446).

Watch video 03:11

Escaping the trauma of the Paris Bataclan attack

Paris public hospitals slam doctor's actions

Martin Hirsch, the head of Paris's public hospitals, described the doctor's actions as "disgraceful" and "scandalous." Hirsch said a criminal and professional complaint would be brought against the surgeon.

"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's statement read.

According to Mediapart, the unidentified victim was described as a young woman whose boyfriend was one of the 130 people killed when Islamic extremists attacked a stadium, restaurants and cafes, and the Bataclan theater in Paris in 2015.

The online publication asked for a response from the surgeon who reportedly said the sale was "an error."

What is an NFT?

Non-fungible tokens or so-called NFTs are uniquely identified data files or digital assets that can come in the form of digital artworks, music and videos.

The files act as digital signatures to certify who owns online media.

Although a recent invention, some NFTs have already fetched extravagant prices at online market places.

In 2021 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey auctioned his first-ever tweet as an NFT which fetched $2.9 million. Berners Lee's first source code for the World Wide Web was sold for $5.4 million.

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What dangers are hidden within the crypto-art craze?

The AFP news agency contributed to this report.