Ohio: Killer Can't Give Away Organs Before Execution
Ronald Phillips wants kidneys, heart to go to family
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2013 2:01 AM CST
This undated photo released by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows Ronald Phillips.    (AP Photo/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction)

(Newser) – Ronald Phillips won't be able to give away his kidneys—and definitely not his heart—before he is put to death tomorrow for the 1993 rape and murder of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter, Ohio prison officials have decided. The inmate wrote to officials earlier this week saying he wanted to give away his organs and "he would like that one or both of his kidneys, if a match, go to his mother who is suffering from kidney disease and on dialysis, and for his heart to go to his sister, who has a heart condition," ABC reports.

Prison officials say the last-minute request is unprecedented and they decided they couldn't grant it, partly because of the security risks that would be involved in transporting Phillips to an off-site hospital. What happens to his organs after his death is up to his family—but it is not clear whether they will still be viable by the time his body is turned over to them, the AP notes. Phillips, 40, is scheduled to die tomorrow night from a lethal injection using an untested combination of execution drugs.

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Showing 3 of 51 comments
Nov 13, 2013 9:28 AM CST
The headline to this story is misleading, as is the summary. Apparently, according to the AP source article, there is a provision that allows for the donation of organs by prisoners in Ohio, something that the prisoner did not plan for until all of his appeals were exhausted a week before his execution. This is nothing more than a delay attempt. If anyone should be blamed for this, it is the prisoner. What is the motive for leaving this important detail out of the story summary?
Nov 13, 2013 8:52 AM CST
Just to play devil's advocate here, this probably was the right ruling. Setting a precedent that prisoners can be used as organ sources is pretty dangerous. I know he was doing it of his own free will, but that doesn't mean that down the road prison admins couldn't start coaxing others that they should sell their bodies off. It's not that far back in history that prisoners were used as test subjects.
Nov 13, 2013 8:35 AM CST
That completely sucks. Once again, government pukes simply cannot think outside the box.