Waiting for organ donors is stressful for recipients as some get donors while some may not, at the right time.
Apart from the National registries, people look put for donors through social media as it has a better reach and works easier for many. The immense response that a person gets through social media motivates them than to grow tired waiting for a donor.
AdvertisementThe same happened for seven-month-old Delfina Budziak, diagnosed with biliary atresia, a condition in which the bile ducts of the liver are blocked or not fully developed. She had to wait for a donor as her mother was ruled out as a match for Delfina.
Budziak,Delfina's father tapped out a plea on his Facebook page and asked a few friends to spread the word. Though the family did not find a donor through social media, the Budziaks have been encouraging those who contacted them to register as organ donors in the event of their deaths or even consider becoming living donors to other recipients.
Many in the field of organ transplantation are now trying to approach public solicitations for live organ donors in the age of social media. And it raises a thorny debate around whether an individual's popularity, social status or media savvy gives him or her an unfair advantage.
Having the ability to reach more people - is it something that gives someone an advantage that would be considered unfair or inappropriate?
According to Linda Wright, director of bioethics at Toronto's University Health Network, social media is merely an extension of how people have always sought out living donors, through word of mouth, over the telephone, through notices in community newspapers or through their churches.
Social media, can expedite the process, which is particularly helpful for patients waiting for a liver, whose conditions may be more urgent, Wright says. People are now accustomed to using Facebook and other sites to stay in touch and maintain relationships anyway.
Not only do public solicitations help increase the chances of someone finding a donor, they also tend to encourage additional donors to come forward, who can potentially help other people in need, Wright says.