As of today, Facebook users now have the option to share their organ donor status on their timelines. In a post on the site, Facebook points out that there are 114,000 people currently awaiting transplants in the U.S. and millions around the world:
“Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis. And we believe that by simply telling people that you’re an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role.”
The new feature provides links to organ donation registries in the U.S. and the U.K, with widespread rollout planned in the coming months.
It’s good to see Facebook using its reach to try and influence public health issues. The most effective way to make up for the shortfall in available organs may actually be to flip the system from being opt-in to opt-out (though this issue was examined by the UK Dept of Health who decided to stick with opt-in in 2008), but anything that increases the societal drive towards organ donation can only be a good thing.