Every 10 minutes, someone’s name is added to a waiting list — a waiting list for a new kidney, heart, lung or other organ. And every day, about 18 people die waiting.
Starting today, San Francisco’s Link TV is screening a remarkable documentary, “The Power of Two.” Twin sisters with fatal cystic fibrosis each received a double lung transplant. In the clip below, they travel to the National Donor Memorial in Richmond, VA.”In a way it was like a pilgrimage to a Mecca,” says Ana, one of the twins. “Because this is the place where our country pays tribute to all the people who have said ‘yes’ to organ donation.”
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:
January 18, 2012: This post has been updated to reflect the family will meet with the hospital.
The story of a three-year-old girl, Amelia Rivera, who was apparently denied a kidney transplant last week at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has sparked outrage and debate. Amelia’s mother, Chrissy, asserts that a CHOP doctor said Amelia was being denied because she is “mentally retarded.”