Facebook Adds Organ Donor Option to Timeline Profiles
May 1, 2012 11:57 AM
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to use the power of social networking to find donors for those who need it
Facebook may be a social-networking giant on the web that
pokes its nose into everyone's business
all too often, but sometimes this shared information can be used for good instead of evil.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently came up with the idea to allow Facebook users to list whether they are
or not on the website. According to Donate Life America, which is partnering with Facebook for the venture, 112,000 Americans are waiting on organs and 18 people die daily because of the lack of organ availability.
The idea to add organ donor information to Facebook, Zuckerberg said, came from recent conversations he had with current girlfriend Priscilla Chan, who is going to medical school to become a pediatrician.
According to Zuckerberg, Chan often describes children in need of organ donors, but can sometimes die waiting. There have also been success stories where a child receives the transplant they need and end up living a normal life.
For instance, Chan once met a young boy in need of a heart transplant. His skin had actually turned blue due to the lack of oxygen, but he ended up receiving the heart transplant and was outside playing sports only weeks later.
"How can that not make you happy?" asked Zuckerberg.
In addition to Chan's stories, Zuckerberg was inspired by last year's passing of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who received a
liver transplant in 2009 that extended his life
"That definitely, I think, was something that we all had in mind as we were building this out," said Zuckerberg. "His story is just one of many, of people who both were able to have an organ transplant that made his life longer and he was extremely thankful for that."
If a user is not an organ donor, they will have the option to register via a link on Facebook.
"Facebook is really about communicating and telling stories," said Zuckerberg. "We think that people can really help spread awareness of organ donation and that they want to participate in this to their friends. And that can be a big part of helping solve the crisis that's out there."
Users in the U.S. and U.K. will be able to add that they are organ donors to their Timelines starting today under the "Health and Wellness" section.
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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