Ohio Death Row Inmate Ronald Phillips Can’t Donate Organs To His Family
Condemned Ohio inmate Ronald Phillips was denied a request to donate his organs ahead of his execution this week.
Phillips’ unprecedented request was to give his kidneys to his mother, who is on dialysis, and his heart to his sister, who suffers from a heart condition.
Prison officials made the decision 72 hours before Phillips’ execution by lethal injection, citing the security challenge posed by taking Phillips to an off-site hospital.
Prison spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said the prison “has reviewed the options and has determined that the department is not equipped to facilitate organ donation pre- or post-execution.”
Phillips, 40, was convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of the 3-year-old daughter of his girlfriend in Akron.
After his death, the family will take control of his body, but it is unclear if his organs will be viable at that time, the Associated Press reported.
In 1995, a Delaware death row inmate, Steven Shelton, donated a kidney to his sick mother, but Shelton was not days away from execution.
His attorney, Tim Sweeney, said Phillips did not bring up organ donation earlier because he hoped his case would go differently.
“He’s been very reflective and prayerful over the last several weeks. I think he was very hopeful that he was going to be granted clemency and/or get relief from the court, so this never really had to come to a head,” Sweeney said. “The disappointment on those fronts made this obviously more relevant.”
All his appeals have been dropped.
Phillips was previously denied a stay of execution over the pentobarbital shortage. He will be executed with an untested drug combination of a sedative and a painkiller on Thursday.