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Life After Life - Does Consciousness Continue?

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  • Reynolds
    Moderator
    • Oct 2018
    • 3287

    Life After Life - Does Consciousness Continue?

    Life — after life: Does consciousness continue after our brain dies?

    The study of near-death experiences is challenging the idea our consciousness fades to black when our body expires


    He could see a nurse and doctor, a bald, “chunky fella” dressed in blue hospital scrubs. He watched as they frantically worked on his body, which was remarkable, considering he was, essentially, dead.

    The man had suffered a cardiac arrest. Normally there is no measurable, meaningful brain activity after the heart stops beating. “I was up there, looking down at me.” He said he saw his blood pressure being taken, and a doctor putting something down his throat. He saw a nurse pumping on his chest. He accurately and vividly described the people, sounds and events of his “resurrection.”

    Parnia isn’t a religious man. He insists he isn’t after proof of the existence of an afterlife, or a supernatural hereafter. Rather, he and others are trying to find better ways to save the brain and avoid horrific “disorders of consciousness”... But Parnia is also out to test the accuracy of seemingly fantastical claims of near-death experiences using an objective, scientific approach. His goal is to study 1,500 people in cardiac arrest.

    London Free Press journalist Jane Simms last year chronicled the story of Ashlyn Krell who died but was brought back to life after her car flipped on Canada’s busiest highway, trapping her in a construction hole filled with ice-cold water for 27 minutes. Blood pressure drops, the heart isn’t able to pump enough blood to supply the body, the heart eventually stops, respiration stops, electrical activity in the brain ceases and the brain flatlines. Shine a light on the pupils and if they’re fixed and dilated, it means the brain stem has stopped functioning. Studies have found that six to 23 per cent of cardiac-arrest survivors report lucid memories that fit with a near-death experience. Brain cells produce proteins that generate changes in sodium, which generates electricity.

    The original AWARE trial involved 2,060 cardiac arrests across 15 hospitals in the U.S., the U.K. and Austria. Of those, 330 people survived. Nine who were able to undergo detailed interviews had experiences compatible with a near-death experience To test the veracity of out-of-body experiences, or OBEs, researchers had stacked shelves in rooms where people were most likely to go into cardiac arrest, like coronary care units, the ICU and emergency wards. Atop each stack of shelves, visible only from the ceiling looking down, were hidden targets – pictures of a baby, a pink dog, a newspaper headline of Princess Diana’s death. Read more ...

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