Facebook Canada Launches Organ Donor Status Feature
You can listen to my reviews every Monday on Moore in the Morning at 6:45 am and follow me on Twitter here for more great apps.
There are many Canadians who would love to become organ donors and of course many doctors who would be happy to welcome their help. It’s often the case that people simply do not know how to go about registering or that they are unaware that there is a shortage in effect. With the taboo that often surrounds the topic, it’s not something that tends to come up in conversation although the stories you’ll hear from those who have gone through the process are often quite comforting. For the organ donation program, communication has become a big problem.
This week Facebook has launched a new feature that will allow Canadians to broach the subject as part of their social interactions. They can create a little entry that lists when they registered and where, plus add a short personal message about what it means to them. This is added both to the Timeline and the About sections of the profile.
A simple search for “organ donor” within Facebook will bring up an official Help Page on the subject, offering an easy directory to connect people with the registry for their local area.
At Facebook’s Canadian launch event for the program in Ottawa this week, Hélène Campbell, Canada’s noted double-lung transplant recipient, made an appearance to lend her support and leverage her own youthful story and web campaign at www.alungstory.ca to help get the conversation going.
But it’s likely to be Facebook’s older users that will prove to be the most influential in opening the lines of communication. When public campaigns for donation have been held during drastic shortages in Europe, organizers were surprised to find that while young adults were very apprehensive and conflicted about the idea, those who lead mature families or were already in retirement were not only comfortable talking about the subject, but were more likely to sign up too.
For people who have been around a long time and have seen it all, they tend to offer a simple wisdom that puts things into an easy context. Here’s a sentiment you’ll often hear repeated from older organ donors. When you die you’re either buried or cremated and neither really preserves you’re body the way people like to think they do, so why not live on by being helpful to others?
Some may see the Facebook campaign as a misuse of peer pressure to popularize organ donation, but with the right voices weighing in to make it a comfortable topic to address, it can become the stimulation conversation it needs to be.