Organ Donation via Facebook. Is It Binding?

Posted By Jay Kaufman || 9-May-2012

For Clients, Advisors and Community. There was recent news that Facebook users could register as organ donors. This development gave great publicity to the fact that 70% of individuals would accept a donated organ if needed but only 30% are registered to be organ donors. The result has been a well publicized shortage of needed organs for transplantation.

Please note that looking for an organ donor page on FaceBook and reading the stories there is an ineresting source of information. However, “liking” a page on FaceBook does not register you as an organ donor. You must find a specific website for organ donation to be registered. There are several on FaceBook.

How in Illinois do we most effectively indicate our desire to act as organ donors? Or, conversely, how do we indicate that we do not want to be organ donors? There are several steps.

First and foremost, make sure that your loved ones and, in particular, your agent under durable power of attorney for health care knows your intention.

Second, the new statutory form of health care power of attorney has a place to indicate whether or not you want to be an organ donor. And, if you do, whether or not you want to place any limitations on donation.

Finally, if you want to be an organ donor, you should know that the best way to indicate your desire is to register with the donor registry sponsored by the Illinois Secretary of State. The indication on your driver’s license is not legally binding. However, if you register at your decision will be legally binding upon your loved ones, perhaps reducing or eliminating conflict at a difficult time.

I’m a believer in organ donation. I’ve seen how this selfless act has enriched the lives of others. As an attorney, however, my obligation is to see that my clients’ desires are fulfilled irrespective of my personal beliefs.

Indicating your desires via Facebook is one way to inform your family and loved ones about your intentions. It is also a great way to remind your friends and family concerning this important and timely topic.

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