Facebook and NHS release innovative organ donation feature
Facebook has teamed up with the NHS to offer users the chance to sign up as an organ donor on the social networking site. They will be able to share their intentions to donate with their family and friends, and will have their decision to sign up published to their Facebook timeline as a life event.
There are 10,000 people currently waiting for an organ, three of whom die every day. The NHS is hoping that this new venture will encourage people to sign up, as well as spreading awareness of the issues surrounding organ donation.
The NHS said that only half of all registered organ donors have shared their intentions with their family before they die. This means that, although the NHS can legally take the donor’s organs, they will not do so if the remaining family are too upset. The NHS has also said that relatives are more likely to accept the decision of a donor if they have the chance to discuss it.
Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, wrote about the scheme. He wrote, “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 Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transport (NHSBT), Sally Johnson, said that the move should make it quicker and easier for more people to sign up to the register. She said:“This is an exciting new way to use the power of social media to reach a huge audience and encourage people to think about it, act, and share that information.”
900 million people use Facebook globally, 30 million of whom are in the UK. A similar scheme has been launched in the USA.