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Speak Up: Would You Share Your Organ Donor Status On Facebook?

Facebook executives announced the new feature Tuesday morning on Good Morning America encouraging 900 million users to let others know if they are organ donors.

You might be familiar with the tiny sticker on driver's licenses marking the license owner as an organ donor. Now, you might find the tiny sticker on Facebook, too.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced the social networking giant added the ability to both register as an organ donor and demonstrate it in your profile on ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday morning.

The new initiative, which encourages Facebook's 900 million users to let others know they are organ donors, was motivated by Zuckerberg's relationship with Apple's late co-founder, Steve Jobs, and Zuckerberg's girlfriend, according to The Washington Post.

Facebook's FAQ section about the project also explained its motivations:

“More than 114,000 people in the United States, and millions more around the globe, are waiting for the heart, kidney or liver transplant that will save their lives. Many of those people – an average of 18 people per day – will die waiting, because there simply aren’t enough organ donors to meet the need. Medical experts believe that broader awareness about organ donation could go a long way toward solving this crisis.”

To update your timeline with your organ donor status, add a new “Life Event.” From there, scroll down to the “Health & Wellness” section and choose “Organ Donor.” Users can also register to become an organ donor through Donate Life America, a non-profit partnered with Facebook on the project, according to The Washington Post.

The effort may be especially moving to some locals who supported through a heart transplant procedure earlier this spring. Carroll, who had a genetic condition that limited his activity and worsened over the years, got a new heart in March at Stanford Medical Center. However, complications arose and the 36-year-old father of two died April 10.

SPEAK UP: Would you post your organ donor status on your Facebook timeline or profile? Do you think this information is too private and should be kept on your driver's license? Is Facebook the right platform for social activism? Tell us in the comments!

Jacob Bourne (Editor) May 02, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I am an organ donor, but I don't think I'd put it on my Facebook profile. Just doesn't seem relevant to Facebook. Anyone else?
Jennifer Squires May 02, 2012 at 06:17 PM
According to Donate Life California, the organization has seen a 5105 percent increase in online sign-ups since April 29 (as of 7:55 a.m. Tuesday). They credit Facebook and, of course, people's generosity.
Watzon McWats May 02, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I use Facebook, but wouldn't post my organ donor status. I don't really care if anyone knows, but to put it out there like that is just a little too much for me. A little too, "in your face" so to speak.
Samantha Campbell Carroll May 02, 2012 at 07:38 PM
I posted that I've been an organ donor since I turned 16 in 1995. That was even before organ donation became a huge part of my life. My stepdad passed away in 2007 waiting for a kidney transplant and in 2009 we were told that my husband, Patrick, would need a heart transplant. I think what Facebook is doing is a great way to bring awareness to the need for organ donation, but I also understand that posting something that personal isn't for everyone.
Penney Colburn May 02, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Done!
Bunnyslippers May 03, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I think Facebook's partnership with this registry is a match made in heaven for everyone involved. People love posting stuff that makes them look admirable in the eyes of their friends, and organ donation definitely has that quality. I don't see a downside to announcing it publicly...unless someone who's waiting for an organ knows that you're a genetic match and wants to, er, hasten the process...if you know what I mean. Other than that, it's a win-win.
Patty May 07, 2012 at 03:53 AM
I can't even begin to understand why you would care if your Organ Donated status was posted on FB? Can someone explain the correlation?
Jacob Bourne (Editor) May 07, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Patty, the correlation between caring and posting your organ donor status on Facebook? Or the correlation between organ donation and Facebook?

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