Share your organs on Facebook

Share your organs on Facebook

You share details of your personal life on Facebook but would you go a step further and share your vital organs online? Tell us if you ‘Like’ this idea and take the poll.

Share your organs on Facebook

On average, 18 people in the United States die daily as they wait for an available organ transplant. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg wants to change this dire statistic. He has announced that the social networking site wants to “help solve the crisis” by allowing Facebook users to volunteer as potential organ donors in the United States and the United Kingdom:

“We think that a lot of people who might just be on the fence about whether or not they want to do this, could be convinced to do that,” Zuckerberg told ABC News.

Zuckerberg also mentioned widespread acceptance of organ donation as “a shift in society that will probably take a while to fully take hold” until more Facebook users start sharing their experiences. “But I think that if people choose to share these stories with their friends, that can make a big difference over time.”

A ‘complicated’ issue

Organ donation is not as simple matter of clicking the ‘Follow’ button, but it seems Facebook users can now notify friends about their organ donor status. Zuckerberg makes his idea appear very user-friendly by stating that the Facebook tool works like this: Users go to their timelines, where under ‘Life Event’ they will see a health and wellness section.

As Zuckerberg explains: “You put in, ‘I decided to be an organ donor’ and your state or country you live in and you can add a story about how you decided to be an organ donor.”

A Facebook user will also see a Share Your Donor Status link when a friend’s donor update hits their news feed. The Facebook page includes links to the organisation, Donate Life America, for people to become official donors. Going through this route on Facebook saves you the time of going through a donor registry or indicating you want to be a donor on a driver’s licence or in a legal will.

Organ donation process oversimplified with one click?

While Zuckerberg’s idea is very laudable one cannot help but ask whether the organ donor shortage can be solved with just a lot of clicks? Facebook’s feature leads to links to online donor registries, but will users take the time to click through?

“We do not want people to feel that all they have to do is put their decision to donate on Facebook,” said Charlene R. Zettel, chief executive of Donate Life California,

Perhaps the resistance to Zuckerberg’s plan arises from the uncomfortable juxtaposition of organ donation and daily life. People can now post about donating a kidney or a liver next to their baby photos and holiday snaps. A reminder of the connection between life and death.




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Written by

Felicia Chin

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