“Being an organ donor can make a difference in the lives of the 114,000 people in the United States waiting for a life-saving organ,” posted Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.). The senior Republican noted his past legislative work on the issue with former Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).
“I used to transplant hearts weekly but too many of my waiting patients would die before an organ became available,” Frist wrote on his Facebook page, adding that Facebook has now made it easier to “commit, register and then brag to your friends” about organ-donor status.
“23 years ago I tried to increase organ donation the old way, by writing a book on the new miracle of transplantation,” Frist wrote. “I attached an organ donor card to every book. I reached a few thousand people. Today with the Facebook tool we can reach millions over the next few hours. Social media can give thousands a new chance at life.”
Facebook has around 900 million users, and a recent study found that the average user spent 405 minutes per month actively engaged on the site. According to Facebook officials, the addition of the tool is a direct attempt to save lives.
“The organ donation crisis is not a medical crisis, it’s a social crisis,” Sandberg told ABC News’s Diane Sawyer in an interview set to air on Tuesday night’s “World News.”
“The power of Facebook is that people step forward and try to help other people and save lives,” she continued. “If this leads to an outpouring of ideas from all over of other ways people can use Facebook to save lives, that would be terrific.”
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) credited Facebook with creating a “unique” tool in a “responsible” way by ensuring the “important privacy safeguards” that are built into Facebook’s sharing functions.
“I also believe this will help to make it easier for Americans, as well as people all around the world, to have an open and frank discussion among family members and friends about the importance of donating organs,” Bono Mack said in a statement released by her office.
Reps. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.) and Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), both members of the GOP Doctors Caucus, encouraged their followers to use the new feature as well.
“As a doctor, I know how precious life is and how meaningful organ donation is for families in need,” Benishek wrote.