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Facebook Tackles The Need for Organ Donors

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced this morning that the social network will now have a feature allowing users in the U.S. and U.K. to spread the word to friends that they are registered organ donors. And if they’re not, there are links that will take visitors to sites where they can enroll.

Zuckerberg told ABC’s Robin Roberts that he first became aware of the ways in which users were tapping into Facebook’s sharing capabilities to deal with “complex social problems” like the aftermath of the tornadoes that swept through Missouri. Citing stats about those who die because of their inability to get an organ transplant (almost 7,000 each year), Zuckerberg said he thinks people can “spread awareness about organ donation.” About 112,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant.

Medical experts say the effort could indeed drive up organ donation. Dr. Andrew Cameron, the surgical director of liver transplantation at Johns Hopkins Hospital, tells The NY Times that by taking this conversation out of the DMV and into the home, “the math will radically change, and we may well eliminate the problem.”

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