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Child Killer's Wish to Donate Heart Before Execution Denied

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Ronald Phillips Ronald Phillips

By Alyssa Newcomb | ABC News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (ABC)—A death row inmate's last request to donate his organs to his ailing relatives was denied by Ohio prison officials today who said it was "made at a very late hour."

Ronald Phillips, 40, is set to die by lethal injection Thursday for the 1993 rape and murder of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

In a letter to the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on Monday, attorneys for Phillips asked that his organs be given to his ailing mother and sister before or after his death.

"Ron is making this generous request without any conditions or expectations," his attorneys wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by ABCNews.com.

"If he had his choice, he would like that one or both of his kidneys, if a match, go to his mother who is suffering from kidney disease and on dialysis, and for his heart to go to his sister, who has a heart condition," the letter states.

Prison officials wrote in a letter to Phillips' attorneys today that the request for an "unprecedented" pre-execution donation would not be feasible due to the short notice, as well as logistical and security issues of having the procedure at an outside medical facility.

The decision of whether to donate Phillips' organs will be left up to his family after they are given his body, officials wrote.

Phillips' attorneys said that he had hoped to "enable as many people as possible to benefit from his death" by donating his organs.

Last week, Ohio Gov. John Kasich denied Phillips' request for clemency.

Phillips is set to be the first inmate to die in Ohio by an untried two-drug combination after the state couldn't obtain a supply of its former execution drug.

 

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