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donation.

May 1, 2012

I’m a big proponent of organ donation. And blood donation. I think everyone should do it. Side story: In fact, back in high school government class, we had to write fake bills to try to pass into law. Mine was to make selling organs legal. It was the only bill in the class to pass. So Facebook’s announcement today that you can add organ donation to your timeline is pretty cool. Or rather, I think it’s cool they want to bring awareness to the issue. I think it’s weird they ask for a story about when you decided to be an organ donor. Even weirder that they have a Health and Wellness section – where you can share if you’ve lost weight or got over an illness. Over-sharing on health issues – everyone’s favorite pastime.

But regardless, needing organs for transplant is a very real problem. And I wonder if Facebook can really make a change. I mean, harnessing the power of the internet worked for Amit Gupta when finding a bone marrow donor¬†and getting thousands of others to sign up in the registry. But¬†becoming an organ donor is a bit different than posting your bra color or where you put your purse in support of breast cancer. How many people do you know who give money to charities but never donate blood? Then again, blood donation is done while you’re alive…

Will this public posting of your organ donor status have any other impacts? For example, if I someday need an organ – say a kidney (something you can give and still be alive) – do I suddenly have a nice little network of people to reach out to first? Add something like bone marrow – where the donation can be compensated – it probably will get even trickier.

But whether or not you decide to list organ donation on your Facebook profile, you should sign up on the registry (to which Facebook helpfully provides a link). Do it.

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