Facebook® and organ donation: the power of a social network without borders to act on behalf of human and social solidarity

MONTREAL, Sept. 18, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Transplant Québec is proud to support the launch of the Facebook® Organ Donation/ Don d'organes tool throughout Quebec and Canada as part of an initiative first put forward earlier this year in the US and in Europe and Asia.

The power of social networks to mobilize citizens is certainly a major asset, one that makes it possible to reach a broad spectrum of people in the Facebook community. According to Jordan Banks, managing director of Facebook Canada, "Facebook is about connecting and sharing. We believe that by simply telling people that you're an organ donor, the power of sharing and connection can play an important role in solving the organ crisis in Canada."

Transplant Québec estimates that this Facebook initiative will help to raise public awareness of the fact that there are still too many patients on the waiting list for a transplantation. In Quebec, that number stands at 1,200.This new tool will highlight the community's ability to make a difference by enabling people to show their intent to become an organ donor on their Facebook timeline.

In light of the results compiled in the United States following the implementation of this tool, Quebec and the other Canadian provinces expect to see a significant increase in the number of people signing up for their respective organ donation registries. Along the same lines, the social media campaign led by Hélène Campbell, the young Ontario woman who received new lungs a few months ago, again served to point up the importance, particularly in North America, of joining official organ donors registries.

According to Mr. Louis Beaulieu, director general of Transplant Québec, "Transplant Québec is convinced that the availability of this Facebook tool will be a major boost to promotional and educational activities, all with the goal of helping people to become posthumous donors. The Facebook tool will make it easier for people to make known their decision concerning organ donation by posting their consent or intention to consent to donate on their Facebook timelines. By enabling people to do so, we believe people will gain the true satisfaction that comes from making a gesture of human solidarity with people waiting for a transplant, while at the same time ensuring that families and friends are more aware of this option."

Transplant Québec would like to remind the public that organ donors are a rare breed. In theory, any person is a potential donor. The reality, however, is that barely 1% of people who die in hospital meet the medical and legal criteria for organ donation.

The organ and tissue donation consent form issued by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) is forwarded to all Quebec citizens every four years, along with the health insurance card renewal notice. It can also be ordered directly from the RAMQ at any time by calling 1 800 561-9749. As well, people can ask their notary to register their intentions on the Registre des consentements au don d'organes et de tissus administered by the Chambre des notaires du Québec: www.cdnq.org

Transplant Québec wishes to remind people of the importance of informing loved ones of their decision, and this Facebook initiative will help make this decision known among people in broader social networks.

To find out more about organ and tissue donation as well as the terms and conditions related to consent: http://www.signezdon.gouv.qc.ca/index.php?signifier_son_consentement_en

About Transplant Québec
Transplant Québec has a mandate from the Minister of Health and Social Services to save lives and improve the health of persons in need of a transplant by coordinating the organ donation process, ensuring the equitable attribution of organs, supporting best clinical practices through consensus-building and the mobilization of its partners, and promoting organ donation in the society at large. Transplant Québec therefore works to ensure that the greatest possible number of Quebecers waiting for an organ can benefit from a transplant in as timely a fashion as practicable.

About Facebook
Founded in 2004, Facebook's mission is to make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what's going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

SOURCE: Transplant Québec

For further information:

Brigitte Junius, APR
Transplant Québec
514 286-1414, extension 216 / 514 349-0752
www.transplantquebec.ca

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