Thursday, June 27, 2013


Facebook entered the transplantation world sometime back to allow for members to specify organ donation status on their pages. A recent article in the AJT discusses the impact of those changes on organ donor registration. In planning with John Hopkins, Facebook team allowed folks to update their Facebook timeline and decide on what organs they wanted to donate. If they did, it took them to their appropriate state donor registry and they were made aware of materials that offered information regarding donation. The study aimed to evaluate the immediate effect of this status update change on donation. Many updated their status but may have changed their mind but never registered with their state DMV or organ donation website. The online registration was increased with the Facebook effect but varied from state to state. As one reads the entire study, keep in mind this is the "immediate" effect they are talking about. Can this effect be sustainable? This is an observational approach and is it possible that other factors played a role cannot be ruled out. Can there be privacy concerns regarding this approach? Some food for thought...

Interestingly, 2 other studies have been done regarding this connection of Facebook with organ donation. A set of researchers looked at  Facebook for publicly available English pages seeking kidney donors, and information on recipient, page characteristics and if donors were tested. 
Only 91 pages met criteria in their study. What do college students think?- another study looked at that..

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