Life after death? Largest-ever study provides evidence that ‘out of body’ and ‘near-death’ experiences may be real

ADAM WITHNALL Author Biography Tuesday 07 October 2014

There is scientific evidence to suggest that life can continue after death, according to the largest ever medical study carried out on the subject.

One man who was clinically dead – then brought back to life – accurately described what had been happening in the room

A team based in the UK has spent the last four years seeking out cardiac arrest patients to analyse their experiences, and found that almost 40 per cent of survivors described having some form of “awareness” at a time when they were declared clinically dead.

Experts currently believe that the brain shuts down within 20 to 30 seconds of the heart stopping beating – and that it is not possible to be aware of anything at all once that has happened.

But scientists in the new study said they heard compelling evidence that patients experienced real events for up to three minutes after this had happened – and could recall them accurately once they had been resuscitated.

Dr Sam Parnia, an assistant professor at the State University of New York and a former research fellow at the University of Southampton who led the research, said that he previously that patients who described near-death experiences were only relating hallucinatory events.

One man, however, gave a “very credible” account of what was going on while doctors and nurses tried to bring him back to life – and says that he felt he was observing his resuscitation from the corner of the room.

Speaking to The Telegraph about the evidence provided by a 57-year-old social worker Southampton, Dr Parnia said: “We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating.

“But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes.

“The man described everything that had happened in the room, but importantly, he heard two bleeps from a machine that makes a noise at three minute intervals. So we could time how long the experienced lasted for.

“He seemed very credible and everything that he said had happened to him had actually happened.”

Dr Parnia’s study involved 2,060 patients from 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria, and has been published in the journal Resuscitation.

Of those who survived, 46 per cent experienced a broad range of mental recollections, nine per cent had experiences compatible with traditional definitions of a near-death experience and two per cent exhibited full awareness with explicit recall of “seeing” and “hearing” events – or out-of-body experiences. Dr Parnia said that the findings of the study as a whole suggested that “the recalled experience surrounding death now merits further genuine investigation without prejudice”.

Dr Jerry Nolan, editor-in-chief of the journal which published the research, said: “The researchers are to be congratulated on the completion of a fascinating study that will open the door to more extensive research into what happens when we die.”


3 replies

  1. One of my sister’s friends told me herself exactly the same story. She had an ‘out-of-body’ experience during an operation, when she was in ‘deep coma’, and re-told exactly what happened during the operation. She queried the doctor afterwards why he said to his colleague: ‘let her die, she is a cripple anyway’. The doctor was so scared and shocked that when he was going to meet her in the hospital corridor later on he turned around and fled…

  2. i was wondering if the out ofbody experience was the same what ppl actually experience after death. if so, then the person would actualy be there when every one would be mourning… unable to speak…it makes me very much afraid.

    on the other hand i wonder, if the holy quran has said (has it?) that no one ever got back after death. if then these experiences are death?

    still, i have heard about ppl who saw other ppl -long ago dead-, or angels from heaven come to take them with them.
    an old lady, whose son had died long ago, told her husband: dont sit here, dont you see, my son has come to get me.
    another very pious lady told about angels coming down from a stair to get her.

    some otherppl have told some other experiences, that one day after death of their very close relative, they heared doors banging alhough no air or other reason. or they smelled the perfume of this person.

    that would mean that the soul stays on for a few days on earth…

    actually its midnight here and am getting quite afraid… 🙂

    best not to ask too many questions, just as the holy quran tells us. best to prepare for this day… instead of asking how it will be… what do you think about all that i have written?
    jazakallah for comments.

  3. Near death experiences are just that. They are not after death experiences. Anyone who comes back to consciousness after being in a state of coma was not dead.
    Human brain carries memories, experiences, fears and expectations from one’s life. In a state of coma these can run before one’s eyes just as it happens in dreams. (also consider all the sedatives and other hallucinogenic drugs one is getting at this stage of life)
    There are people who claim to have vivid visions while fully awake. So whereas it provides for good conversation, there is no reality in coming back to life after death. The one who came back was not dead. And the one who died cannot tell us the story from the other side.

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