Ohio Execution Stay: Should Death Row Inmate Be Allowed To Donate Organs?

A convicted child killer’s execution on death row in Ohio has been delayed by Ohio’s governor to look into the possibility of accommodating a request that the convict donate his organs to help others.

In delaying the execution of the convicted man the governor wants to allow time to look into the unusual request by the death row inmate for one or more of his organs to be donated.

The governor said that if Philips is found to be a suitable organ donor for his mother, who needs a new kidney, or others who are awaiting live transplants, the Ohio execution stay would allow time for the relevant procedures to take place, before returning Philips to death row.

It was noted that even though the crime Philips was convicted of was heinous, his wish to donate his organs to help others should be accommodated by the state. On top of that Philips’ sister suffers from heart issues and he said he would like to donate his heart to her if possible.

The governor released a statement about the Ohio execution stay: “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,” it said.

The Philips case is a tough one for state officials as there are various logistical and security issued surrounding it. Furthermore, Philips is due to be executed imminently making the situation even more complex.

The director of the Death Penalty Information Center, Richard Dieter, said that this is not the first time a stay has been requested. Back in 1995 death row inmate Steven Shelton requested to donate a kidney to his dying mother,. In that case the request was granted by Shelton was not due to be executed for some time.

Dieter said: “This step by the governor puts it into a more normal discussion of an inmate, without any security problems, can help save another person and is that the right thing to do. With 24 hours to go before an operation had to be carried out, it definitely gets in the way of that process.”

He went on to share his views on the death penalty: “If the whole idea is to save a life, there’s one life to be saved simply by not executing the person at all,” he said.

What do you think of this Ohio execution stay? Do you think it is good that death row inmates do a good deed and donate organs to help others before they are executed?

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