According to The Columbus Dispatch, Governor Kasich said he stopped the execution "so that medical experts can assess whether Phillips' non-vital organs or tissues can be donated to his mother or possibly others...I realize this is a bit of uncharted territory for Ohio, but if another life can be saved by his willingness to donate his organs and tissues, then we should allow for that to happen," www.dispatch.com.
In 1993, Ronald Phillips, 40, was convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter. He served his term without expressing concern for the life and well-being of others. In fact, he waited until all of his appeals had been exhausted before offering to donate his kidney to his mother who is on dialysis and his heart to his sister who has a heart ailment. Now he is apparently willing to donate organs to others as well.
"Ohio's prison medical policy accommodates organ donations, but prison officials rejected the request, saying it came too late to work out logistics and security concerns," www.abclocal.go.com.
Although a Delaware death row inmate donated a kidney to his mother in 1995, "he was not facing imminent execution like Phillips," www.independent.co.uk
STAY OF EXECUTION
Phillips was eating his last meal when he got word of the reprieve. The Ohio Governor stayed the execution to further explore the possibility of Phillips donating non-vital organs...not his heart. Richard Dieter, of the Death Penalty Information Center, said that this is the first time that a stay of execution was granted based on the request to donate organs, www.bbc.co.uk.
If Phillips is a viable donor and the procedure is approved, he would be returned to Death Row afterward to await his new execution date of July 2, 2014. Ohio prison policy dictates that any such surgeries be paid for by Phillips or the recipients.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I am a big proponent of organ donation, but this adds layers of complicated ethical and technical dilemmas. This might be a last-minute ploy to buy time for a man facing death. We could ignore Phillips' motives and allow for the organs to benefit others. Then again, maybe this request came too late.
- Associated Press, "Ohio Execution Stay for Ronald Phillips for Possible Organ Donations," www.abclocal.go.com, November 14, 2013.
- BBC, "Ohio Execution Stayed Over Organ Donation Request," www.bbc.co.uk, November 14, 2013.
- Johnson, Alan, "Kasich Postpones Execution of Inmate Who Wants to Donate Organs," www.dispatch.com, November 14, 2013.
- Saul, Heather, "Ronald Phillips Ohio Execution Delayed by Judge after Organ Donation Request," www.independent.co.uk, November 14, 2013.