Facebook promotes organ donation

Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 9:33am

Most of us visit Facebook to post photos or catch up with friends, but the social networking site is unveiling a new feature that it says has the power to save lives. It's a new addition to its Timeline layout, where users can publicly say they're organ donors. Facebook developers say it's part of an effort geared to getting more people to sign up on their state's organ donation registry list. There are currently about 100,000 Americans waiting for an organ, according to Donate Life America. 18 people die every day waiting for a transplant.

The new feature works like this. You log onto your Facebook account, then click on "Life Event" on your Timeline profile. From there, you choose "Health & Wellness" and select "Organ Donor." The feature will not automatically add you to any registry, so developers stress that you'll have to follow the link to sign up officially.

10 states reported an increase in their donor registries since the feature was unveiled Tuesday. Sheron Raymond of the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency said that's partly because it's allowing people to talk about it...and get their family members involved. "If you never think about it, then you don't have the education to make the decision, but at least it gets them thinking about it and hopefully they'll do some research," she said.

To find out more about organ donation, visit the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency website. http://www.lopa.org/

Click here to like LOPA's Facebook page and keep up with local updates. http://www.facebook.com/donatelifela

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