Ohio Child Killer’s Organ Donation Wish Perplexes

Gov. John Kasich has postponed Ronald Phillips' execution to allow the state to consider whether to allow him to donate some of his organs to sick relatives.(Photo: odrc)
Gov. John Kasich has postponed Ronald Phillips' execution to allow the state to consider whether to allow him to donate some of his organs to sick relatives.(Photo: odrc)

The stay of execution for a convicted Ohio child killer seeking to donate his organs is posing perplexing ethical and medical questions that pit demand for life-saving transplants against the goals of incarceration.

With less than a day to go, Gov. John Kasich postponed Ronald Phillips’, 40, execution Wednesday as the state assesses his last-minute request.

Phillips had asked to give a kidney and his heart to ailing relatives.

Medical ethicist Arthur Caplan of New York University said “there’s a kind of redemption” in organ donation that conflicts with prison’s goal of stripping criminals of societal privileges.

Mater Alexander, a liver transplant recipient from suburban Columbus, said inmates should be encouraged to do something good before they die.

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