ABC News Exclusive: New Facebook Tool Helps Organ Donors 'Share Life'


They talked about using the power of Facebook for communication to let people share their wish to be organ donors, just as they already share their birthdays, new jobs or what they had for lunch.

Surveys have shown that most Americans support organ donation, but only about 40 percent of the adult population register as organ donors. Cameron said he thinks the shortfall is the result of a communications problem that a button on a Facebook profile could help solve.

"I think it's possible that we will see an impact over the next couple of years, where we would imagine eliminating the transplant waiting list," Cameron told ABC News. "We've got 100,000 people waiting. Each donor can help three or four of those waiting. If we could do twice as well as we're doing now, if we could get another 10,000 donors a year, I think we could have that transplant waiting list down to almost nothing in three or four years. That would be a spectacular moment in medical history and in the history of public health."

The hope is that bringing a social aspect to organ donation will help people think carefully about their decision and share it with others.

"There have been so many public health campaigns to get people to sign up to be organ donors. Unfortunately, they just haven't been very successful," said ABC News' chief health and medical editor, Dr. Richard Besser. "This Facebook initiative is absolutely ingenious. Imagine what happens if signing up to be a donor goes viral and becomes a cool thing to do? Problem solved!"

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