COLUMBUS, Ohio -- One of the biggest obstacles for an Ohio death row inmate who wants to donate organs to his family is paying for a procedure not covered by prison policies.
Rules adopted by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for inmate organ donation make the costs the responsibility of the inmate or the recipient.
Attorneys for condemned killer Ronald Phillips, 40, haven't yet addressed how he might pay for donating a kidney to his mother or his heart to his sister. Phillips was denied his wish to donate his organs after his death.
The average cost of a kidney donation is about $260,000, while a heart transplant is close to $1 million. Ohio's policies require compatibility testing by the prisons agency with the surgery performed at the Ohio State University medical center.
Ohio Governor John Kasich stayed the execution Wednesday to assess the organ donation request.
His execution has been rescheduled for July 2, 2014.
"Ronald Phillips committed a heinous crime for which he will face the death penalty. 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," Kasich said.
Phillips was originally scheduled to be executed Thursday, Nov. 14 at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville for the 1993 murder of Sheila Marie Evans.
If he is found to be a viable donor to his mother or possibly others awaiting transplants of non-vital organs, such as kidneys, the procedures would be performed and then he would be returned to death row to await his new execution date.
State officials say Phillips arrived at the prison in Lucasville just before 10 a.m. Wednesday, a day ahead of his scheduled execution.
Phillips is sentenced to die for the rape and death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993.
Phillips said through his attorneys that the request was not a delay tactic, rather an attempt to make a final gesture for good.
State officials said logistics and security made donation of Phillips' kidney and heart unworkable. They've left to his family whether the organs are harvested after his death.
His mother is diabetic and his sister has a heart condition.