Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Facebook adds Organ Donor Status

As you may have heard Facebook is going public as early as next week.  In a curious (or expected) show of goodwill and an attempt to make use of Google's (slightly ironic) mantra "Don't be evil," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that today you can add your organ donor status to your Facebook profile.  This will be an interesting social experiment in the wild to see if organ donation could go viral.  Palliative care clinicians will all recognize the issue with a shortage of potential organs for those in need.  We talk to patients and families all the time that are holding on to hope for a possible transplant. 


One quality measure as you can see from the picture above is the link to actual state registries.

Could something like this work for advance directives like durable power of attorney or a living will?  In addition to listing family you could also list who your DPOA was.  It may even lead to an interesting study to see how networked DPOA's are and even if they might be able to find each other better and talk about how to be a better DPOA. I'm unsure if I will post my organ donor status on Facebook.  I post a whole lot of other things, but this feels like it crosses a different threshold.

What will you do if you are on Facebook? (I already know what everyone who is anti-Facebook is going to say, but you can share your thoughts too of course!) Is Facebook the right platform to merge online registries for health issues that are struggling to get more traction?  You want to be where the eyeballs are right?

The New York Times and The Atlantic cover the issue in more detail if you are interested.

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