Facebook Unveils Organ-Donor Status Option

May 3, 2012 by Vijay S Paul

After their announcement on Monday, April 30 that they would be coming out with a feature that had the “power to save lives”, Facebook has finally revealed the ‘unusual’ status update option- an organ donor status option that’s designed to shorten or eliminate organ-transplant waiting lists.

Facebook users can now choose to indicate that they’re organ donors, as well as specify which state they’re registered in, post a message explaining why they became a donor, and give the date they registered in their state. At present this service is made available only in the US and UK.

Obviously just posting a status update doesn’t count as the official consent of the patient to donate his/her organ, the main reason for such a feature is to spread awareness among other Facebook users, as well as to let family members know about one’s status in case they ever need to give consent. Facebook also provides a link to state organ donation registries, for those who want to be donors.

Facebook has made the signup process easy. Just go to Timeline, click the “Life Event” button next to the status bar, and select “Health and Wellness.” An organ donation option should pop up, letting us select our status and providing a link to the organ donation registry in the state.

Will we see it in India anytime soon? I doubt.
Why? Because unfortunately, 18 years after the country passed the Transplantation of Human Organs Act 1994, only kidney donations by live donors are in vogue – cadaver donations have still not picked up. The present rate of cadaveric donation is about .1 per million here. If this rate is pushed to 1 per million, we can get 1,100 donors and 2,200 kidneys for transplants.

Hence it would be only smart to say that Facebook will not be trying to put this feature out in India anytime soon, unless and until the people themselves are given some awareness regarding organ donation.

You can’t bring in the Audi R8 and expect a novice to learn driving in that. Its too big a risk! After all, the paint job itself would cost the treasury!! :D