The Final Gift

THE SLATE | Jacob Brogan 

Social media and the internet are making it easier than ever to donate your organs.

Social media isn’t just good for promoting your wishes; it may also be the right place to establish your intentions in the first place. TeamOktopus

When former surgeon general Kenneth Moritsugu’s wife died in a car accident 25 years ago, he knew what to do. “Because we had discussed this issue before, the decision to donate her organs and tissues for transplantation was simple,” Moritsugu said at a White House summit on organ donation in June. Things were murkier when his daughter died not long after. Though Moritsugu and his family ultimately decided to donate her organs, too, they had no formal record of her wishes. “Knowing her intention would have made the decision so much easier,” he said.

Another speaker, Jenna Arnold, suggested that the problem stems at least in part from systems that poorly reflect contemporary conditions; she is the co-founder of Organize, a nonprofit that aspires to update the organ donation process. As David Bornstein writes in the New York Times, the U.S. largely delegated responsibility of organ donation systems to the individual states when the movement began in the 1960s. Today, most of those who register still do so at their local DMVs. “That’s an awkward place that you want to have about what to do with your remains after you die,” Johns Hopkins liver transplantation surgeon Andrew Cameron pointed out to me. 

"Much as we might criticize hashtag activism, tweeting your organ-donor status literally might save lives."
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
To ensure donation happens, please share your decision with your family. At stake is the legacy you wish to leave.