Facebook promotes organ donation registration using ‘life event’ on timeline

By on Friday, May 4, 2012

Social networking site Facebook has joined forces with the NHS to encourage organ donors to inform their friends and family about their decision and to increase registered donors.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, personally announced the organ donor status option for timeline in America, in what is a very rare public appearance. Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, wrote this sharing the news ‘Organ Donation: Friends Saving Lives’, which also features a video with instructions on how to use the timeline application.

In the UK around 10,000 people are on a waiting list for an organ, and three people on that list die every day still waiting. NHS Blood and Transplant told the BBC that the partnership was an “exciting new way” to encourage donation.

If a person is registered as an organ donor then legally, the NHS can use their organs for transplantation, but a huge issue is that only half of the people who are registered tell their family of their wishes after death. Organs will not be taken if the family are too upset by the idea; relatives who know of the persons wishes to donate are much more likely to consent, which is why this encouragement to share on such a popular social network is such a genius idea.

NHS Blood and Transplant’s director of organ donation and transplantation, Sally Johnson, told the BBC that Facebook was a “fantastic way” of getting families to talk about organ donation now instead of at “the worst possible time”

See the campaign in action on the campaigns Facebook page, fitting if you ask me.

Participate in this worthwhile campaign and register as an organ donor through Facebook here.

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