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Ohio death row inmate denied wish to donate organs

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A condemned child killer will not be allowed to donate organs to his ailing mother and sister before or during his execution this week, Ohio prisons officials said Tuesday after determining the process would pose significant security and logistical challenges.

The request from Ronald Phillips to donate a kidney and his heart came Monday, less than 72 hours before he is scheduled to die by lethal injection.

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Phillips has said through his attorneys that the request was not a delay tactic, but rather an attempt to make a final gesture for good.

Prison officials scrambled to review the last-minute request, which they called unprecedented, but ultimately could not figure out a way to get Phillips to and from an offsite hospital while following security procedures leading up to an execution. Phillips is scheduled to die Thursday by an injection of a sedative and painkiller that has never been used in a US execution.

The department says it will be up to his family whether the organs are donated after his death.

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