Screenshot of Facebook's new organ donation feature, taken by a Flickr user, May 1, 2012.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg have announced the newest in a long line Facebook profile choices: now you can share whether or not you are an organ donor. Zuckerberg and Sandberg made the announcement on “Good Morning America” today, stating that they hope to be able to use Facebook’s network of millions to make the process of connecting donors and recipients more fruitful. According to the Mercury News, in the hours that have passed since the announcement, organizations like Donate Life California have already seen a significant jump in the number of new donors - to the tune of 700%. Marking yourself as an organ donor on Facebook is only one part of the platform’s new “Health and Wellness” section, in which members can also track things like weight loss, illnesses, and broken bones.
Are you willing to share whether or not you’re an organ donor with your Facebook friends? What about the fact that you’re quitting smoking or losing weight? Is this type of information useful, extraneous, or just not for public consumption?
Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania