Facebook encouraging members to share organ donor status

By on May 2, 2012, 7:30 AM

Facebook is hoping to use their massive member pool for something besides keeping in touch with friends. The social network has announced a plan that will encourage users to share organ donor status on their Facebook page in an effort to spread awareness.

Roughly 7,000 people in the US die each year while awaiting organ transplants. The issue stems from a simple lack of donors, not any medical technology shortcomings. Less than half of adult Americans have signed up to be organ donors, a process that takes place at the least likely location: the Department of Motor Vehicles.

By adding organ donor status to a profile, Facebook hopes that this will get people talking more about the subject. Seeing friends and family that are donors could also persuade individuals to do the same. In another proposed scenario, family members could check the donor status of a loved one that has passed via their profile and make a quick based on that person’s wishes.

Dr. Andrew M. Cameron, a surgical director of liver transplantation at John Hopkins Hospital feels that this is a historic day in transplant. By moving the conversation from the DMV to the home, he believes that the math will radically change and organ shortages could very well be eliminated completely.

Of course, in addition to posting organ donor status on Facebook, it’s equally as important to do so though your state’s registry to streamline the process when the time comes.

To update your organ donor status on Facebook, visit your Timeline profile, click Life Event, Health & Wellness and select organ donor. The service even links you to your local registry to officially sign up.

The feature is available now in the US and the UK with plans to add several other countries in the coming months.

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