Experts are saying consciousness continues even when the heart has stopped beating after a study shows people continue experiencing awareness for up to three minutes after death.
The most significant finding of the study is that of a 57-year-old man believed to be the first confirmed out-of-body experience in a patient. After suffering a cardiac arrest, the patient revealed he was able to recall what was taking place around him with eerie accuracy after temporarily dying.
head researcher Dr Sam Parnia said: “Contrary to perception, death is not a specific moment but a potentially reversible process that occurs after any severe illness or accident causes the heart, lungs and brain to cease functioning.”
“This is paradoxical,” Dr Parnia said, “Since the brain typically ceases functioning within 20-30 seconds of the heart stopping.”
Out of the 2,060 patients from Austria, America and the UK interviewed for the study who had survived cardiac arrests, 40 per cent said they were able to recall some form of awareness after being pronounced clinically dead.
The recalled experience surrounding death merits a genuine investigation without prejudice. Dr Jerry Nolan, Editor-in-Chief of Resuscitation, the journal in which the research was published, stated: “The AWARE study 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.”