New Facebook Status: Organ Donor

Facebook is turning its social media power to the problem of organ donation. Last year, 7,000 people died on a waiting list for a new kidney, liver, heart or other organ.

Today Facebook announced that it is making “organ donation status” an option members can add to their profiles.

The New York Times cited experts in the field of organ donation saying this move by Facebook could potentially have a profound effect:

They say people declaring on Facebook that they are organ donors could spur others to sign up at motor vehicle departments or online registries. But these experts say Facebook could create an informal alternative to such registries that could, even though it carries less legal weight, lead to more organ donations.

That is because a disclosure on Facebook could provide the evidence of consent that family members need when deciding whether to donate the organs of a loved one, said Dr. Andrew M. Cameron, the surgical director of liver transplantation at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“This is going to be an historic day in transplant,” said Dr. Cameron, adding that people who die for want of an organ do so mostly because there are not enough organ donors, not because of any shortcomings in medical technology. “The math will radically change, and we may well eliminate the problem.”

If you’re one of the 161-million American Facebook members, here are more details:

Related