News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

The Holden Arboretum

Knight Foundation


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime


Death row organ donation raises ethical questions
Some death row organ donations may be ethical, others not. A death penalty expert says it depends on the timing, and the organ
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Executive Director Richard Dieter of The Death Penalty Information Center
Courtesy of The Death Penalty Information Center
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Ohio Governor John Kasich’s decision to put a death row inmate’s execution on hold while medical experts explore the option of organ donation for the condemned man isn’t the first time this ethics question has come up for debate.

The Death Penalty Information Center tracks executions in all of the nation’s 50 states. And in an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, the center’s Executive Director, Richard Dieter says while this isn’t the first time the issue has been considered, it does have an unusual distinction.

LISTEN: Ingles and Dieter on inmate organ donation

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:58)


Kasich's last minute stay was unusual
Dieter - “Well what certainly makes this unusual is the stay was granted less than 24 hours before the execution. There have been a couple of death row inmates that have been allowed to donate an organ but this really came close to removing that possibility because this was not a case of donating an organ during the execution. Rather it’s a kidney from which a person can do fine or well enough without one kidney so it puts him back in a prison context instead of an execution context and allows time for consideration of this issue. This is really close”

Ingles - “So is there a consensus in these kinds of cases? Is organ donation possible?”

Dieter - “Well it is possible. There’s certainly a consensus, almost an unanonymity, that vital organs and organs to be donated during execution, that would be forbidden. You can’t give consent or use a human life or involve doctors during an execution. There are just too many questions with ethics and voluntariness to allow that. But for a prisoner, for the moment consider them not on death row, to give blood or even work in the community, these are things that we do allow some interaction and not all rights are removed just because you are in prison.

Ethics considers the timing, and organ 
Ingles - “So you are referring to organs like kidneys or things that people could still survive without. You are not talking about organs that must be harvested upon death, right?”

Dieter - “That’s correct because otherwise, you’d be in a position of what if a person is waiting on this organ and the execution gets stayed, do you go ahead with it because a life would be saved? There’s too many pressures on the system at that moment and to think that someone can make a decision about their organs…are they going to change their mind if they get a day reprieve or something...or the involvement of doctors would be problematic as well." 

Dieter says, "[harvesting] non vital organs from someone who would not be close to execution will be possible. I think that’s what the Governor is asking for right now. It’s not necessarily that it would be granted but that it is going to be possibly allowed, considered, and weigh the possible pros and cons. 

The Death Penalty Information Center’s Richard Dieter says issues like these raise ethical questions that take some time to contemplate. Inmate Ronald Phillips wants to give his kidney and liver to family members then donate other organs to strangers. Dieter says this stay indicates some of those donations could be possible.

A new execution date has been set for July 2, 2014.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Will Ohio's marijuana initiative follow casinos' lead?
We just ask to have marijuana legalized and here comes some nimrod trying to rob us of our rights and make us buy it from some legalized new type DRUG DEALER th...

Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
Grandma of Chris Miller moved to Florida in a retirement community but I sure miss the Falls and the Blue Door, and the fine service and the true friendship of ...

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

A guide for gift-shopping for older Ohians
I'll never be to old for peanut brittle.

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University