Facebook users can easily let their friends and family know their feelings on organ donation
Facebook's new Timeline enables you to post key life events and milestones to your profile. By clicking a new health and wellbeing button, this can include your intention to become an organ donor - with the added benefit of sharing that information with your friends and family.
The new initiative means you can log your support for organ donation on your Facebook Timeline and, if you wish, click through to NHSBT's Facebook page to officially register. Even if you don’t actually register officially, just sharing your views with family and friends on the site Facebook users is worthwhile.
"We need more people to sign up to the register and share their wishes with their friends and family; our job is to make that as quick and easy as possible,” says Sally Johnson, NHSBT's Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation. “This is an exciting new way to use the power of social media to reach a huge audience and encourage people to think about it, act, and share that information."
Evidence shows only half those who wish to donate organs after death let their families know of their intention. Relatives who do know about your desire to donate are 50% more likely to agree to donation. Each time consent is given for organ donation, this can save or improve the lives of up to nine people. Currently around 10,000 people need a transplant in the UK and three people die every day while on the waiting list.
Facebook's UK Director of Policy, Simon Milner, said: "Small acts of kindness happen every day on Facebook but we hope that our partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant will use the power of friendship to save lives. More than 30 million people in the UK will be able to show on their Timeline that they are either on the organ donation register already, or can register with the NHS on their Facebook page in a few simple steps. We hope that as a result of this partnership, UK Facebook users will together be able to reduce the number of people who needlessly die waiting for an organ each year."
How to get started on Facebook.