Life after death: You will know when you are DEAD – shock research

The debate of what happens after death has been raging on for thousands of years, crossing through the realms of science, religion and philosophy. But scientists are now creating a clearer picture thanks to advances in medical technology. One such scientist, Dr Sam Parnia, head of research in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and assistant professor at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine, believes he has found evidence of people knowing when they are dead.

In a case study of 140 people who had survived cardiac arrest events, many felt the sensation of death and knew what was happening around them.

Dr Parnia said: “They’ll describe watching doctors and nurses working, they’ll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them.”

Dr Parnia’s AWARE, or AWAreness during REsuscitation, study, foes in to more detail: “Cardiac arrest (CA) survivors experience cognitive deficits including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“It is unclear whether these are related to cognitive/mental experiences and awareness during CPR.

“Despite anecdotal reports the broad range of cognitive/mental experiences and awareness associated with CPR has not been systematically studied.”

Of the 140 people interviewed, 46 percent “had memories with 7 major cognitive themes: fear; animals/plants; bright light; violence/persecution; deja-vu; family; recalling events post-[cardiac arrest]”.

Two percent “described awareness with explicit recall of ‘seeing’ and ‘hearing’ actual events related to their resuscitation. One had a verifiable period of conscious awareness during which time cerebral function was not expected.”

However, Dr Parnia told a recent Oz Talk: “People describe a sensation of a bright, warm, welcoming light that draws people towards it.

“They describe a sensation of experiencing their deceased relatives, almost as if they have come to welcome them. They often say that they didn’t want to come back in many cases, it is so comfortable and it is like a magnet that draws them that they don’t want to come back.

“A lot of people describe a sensation of separating from themselves and watching doctors and nurses working on them.”

Dr Parnia says there are scientific explanations for the reaction, and says seeing people is not evidence of the afterlife, but more likely the brain just scanning itself as a survival technique.

He said thanks to modern technology and science “death does not have to be limited to philosophy and religion, but it can be explored through science”.

He added: “They can hear things and record all conversations that are going on around them.”


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