Facebook and the NHS have teamed up to allow people to sign up for organ donation on the social network, which can be published to their timeline as a "life event".
With 30 million people in the UK possessing a Facebook account, users are already responding to the collaboration in different ways, the NHS Organ Donation Page proving an outlet for grief, gratitude, and encouragement.
Heart-rending personal stories about organ donation can be found on the page. Having lost her young daughter, one mother found strength through knowing her organs had helped others. She wrote:
"I keep her [Facebook] page going as her friends often pop on to say how much they miss her. She was only 14. I hope that more people join the organ donor register... She donated to five people."
Other people have used the page to make personal appeals to strangers to help sick members of their family and friends while some have used the page to share their gratitude:
"My five-year-old grandson had a combined liver and kidney transplant 18 months ago, his life is now 100% better and we are eternally grateful to the donor family whom we have met x"
People who have received donated organs have also logged on to share their stories:
"I've just been added to the 'liver list' as of yesterday. Amazing the hope and optimism that this has provided my family and I with."
Only half of people those who want to donate organs after death have let their families know.
The NHS can legally take organs if people have signed up, but if relatives find it too upsetting it is difficult to enforce this rule. Family have the final say over their relatives' organs.
However the NHS have said that those who know that their loved-one wanted to be a donor are 50% more likely to consent. This is why sharing an organ donation on Facebook is so crucial, even if people are against donating organs themselves. One Facebook user stressed this feature.
"I'm on the register, have been since I was 18 and all my family and close friends know that it's my wish to donate what ever is needed. I think it's important to make your family very aware of your requirements as in a difficult time emotions run high. I carry my card with pride always :)"
NHSBT's director Sally Johnson said in a press statement: "This is a new way to encourage people to think about organ donation, act, and share that information.”
Currently around 10,000 people need a transplant in the UK and three people die every day waiting. One person choosing to donate their organs can save the lives of up to nine people.
Facebook’s UK Director of Policy, Simon Milner said: "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.”
A similar venture is being launched in the US.Watch the video below issued by Facebook to show users how to sign up
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