Ohio Governor Delays Man’s Execution over Prospect of Organ Donations

Ronald PhillpsRonald Phillips was supposed to
die today in Ohio, sentenced to be executed for raping and killing
a 3-year-old girl. He made an unexpected last-minute request: to

donate his organs
after execution. His attorney said in a
letter that it wasn’t a delaying tactic but an attempt to “do a
charitable act,” reported the Associated Press. Phillips’ own
mother could be a potential beneficiary of such charity. She is on
dialysis for kidney disease.

Prison officials initially rejected the request because it was
made so late they couldn’t accommodate him. But Ohio Gov. John
Kasich announced that the state will delay the execution until July
in order to determine if organ donation is a possibility. The
Columbus Dispatch


Kasich’s action is unprecedented in the nation in the case of an
imminent execution, a death-penalty expert said.

The Republican governor said he halted Phillips’ execution “so
that medical experts can assess whether Phillips’ nonvital organs
or tissues can be donated to his mother or possibly others.”

“Ronald Phillips committed a heinous crime for which he will
face the death penalty,” Kasich said in a statement less than 18
hours before the condemned man was to be lethally injected using
two drugs never before used in combination. “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.”

The governor said if Phillips “is found to be a viable donor to
his mother or possibly others awaiting transplants of nonvital
organs, such as kidneys, the procedures would be performed and then
he would be returned to Death Row to await his new execution

A commenter at the Dispatch noted the connection
between what may happen to Phillips and the “Known Space” sci-fi
works of author Larry Niven, where the Earth’s government used
condemned criminals for organ replacements, ultimately leading to a
repressive society where every crime was made a capital crime (for
the sake of my future as a presidential candidate, I haven’t read
these works myself and am taking the explanation from Wikipedia).

Fortunately, given where real science is actually heading with

bioengineering and 3D-printing new body parts
, we won’t likely
be descending into Niven’s scenario.

More Reason on organ donations, and the restrictive regulations
that result in a governor hoping to get a condemned man’s kidneys,

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/14/ohio-governor-delays-mans-execution-over

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