Life after death

ALEX CORBY

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Scientists debate the afterlife. Photo: Wikimedia.

A UK-based scientific team have been studying to prove evidence of life after death.

They have been speaking to patients who have suffered cardiac arrest, and 40% of survivors recalled having some kind of awareness after being declared clinically dead.

Experts believe brain function shuts down 20 to 30 seconds after the heart stops beating. Patients have reported that they experienced real events up to three minutes after their hearts stopped.

“A total of 2060 cardiac patients were study, and out of that only 330 had survived and fewer 140 had said they were partly aware before resuscitation,” Dr Parnia said.

In Dr Sam Parnia’s study Awareness during resuscitation says that patients would experience post-traumatic stress.

“Many of the survivors would often recount things like fear, animals and plants, bright lights, violence or persecution and family an deja-vu recalling events after being resuscitated. With detailed knowledge of what had happened in relation to their revival,” Dr Parnia said.

Observation from the study have linked cardiac arrest resuscitation with associated number of psychological and cognitive outcomes including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and memory loss as well as specific mental processes that may share some similarities with awareness during anesthesia.

Cardiac arrest patients have reported visual perceptions together with cognitive and mental activity including thought processes, reasoning and memory formation.

“There is some very good evidence here that these experiences are actually happening after people have medically died. We just don’t know what is going on. We are still very much in the dark about what happens when you die and hopefully this study will help shine a scientific lens onto that,” Dr David Wilde said.

Although there have been many anecdotal reports of this phenomenon, only a handful of studies have used rigorous research methodology to examine the mental state that is associated with cardiac arrest resuscitation.

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