With countless self-centered posts, Facebook’s users have a reputation for narcissism. But what about generosity? The social network hopes their selflessness runs equally deep, as it kicked off a campaign today to promote organ donation among its hundreds of millions of users. Under the company’s new health initiative, users in the U.S. and UK, which number nearly 200 million, are encouraged to list their donor status along with their birth dates and schools in a section labelled Health and Wellness. The benefits, Facebook reckons, will be twofold: With so many users expected to advertise their donor status, millions more could be swayed to pledge a life-saving gift of their own; and the electronic disclosures could serve as a more attractive alternative to the inconvenient status quo, which requires donors to fill out paperwork at their local DMV.
Dr. Andrew N. Cameron, Johns Hopkins Hospital’s surgical director of liver transplantation, hailed the move as game-changing:
This is going to be an historic day in transplant. The math will radically change, and we may well eliminated the problem.
The problem, as Cameron described it, is that thousands of people die each year while awaiting organs that aren’t available because would-be donors aren’t comfortable mulling such a serious decision at the DMV.
We have attempted to have a sensitive conversation, one that addresses your mortality, at the D.M.V. Now we move the conversation into your own home or office with 120 of your closest friends on Facebook.
The feature was rolled out in the U.S. and UK today, but Facebook plans to expand the initiative to include several more countries in the coming months.
Source: The New York Times