A new, peer-reviewed study on the scientific consensus regarding near-death experiences has been published by a multidisciplinary team of medical researchers titled “Guidelines and standards for the study of death and recalled experiences of death.” This study examines the scientific evidence that has accumulated from research into the phenomenon, and is the first study of its kind to face peer review.

“Cardiac arrest is not a heart attack, but represents the final stage of a disease or event that causes a person to die,” explains lead author Dr. Sam Parnia, director of the Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Research Program at New York University Langone. “The advent of cardiopulmonary resuscitation showed us that death is not an absolute state, rather, it’s a process that could potentially be reversed in some people even after it has started.

“What has enabled the scientific study of death is that brain cells do not become irreversibly damaged within minutes of oxygen deprivation when the heart stops. Instead, they ‘die’ over hours of time. This is allowing scientists to objectively study the physiological and mental events that occur in relation to death.”

The study involved researchers from a wide range of medical disciplines, including the neurosciences, critical care, psychiatry, psychology, social sciences, and humanities, and is represented by well-respected academic institutions from the US and UK such as Harvard University and King’s College, London. The study came to a number of conclusions regarding NDEs, including”

  • Medical advances over the 20th and 21st centuries have enabled numerous people—estimated by the study to number in the hundreds of millions—to survive encounters with either death or near death that involve “a unique set of recollections in relation to death that appear universal,” according to the study text.
  • According to several published studies cited by the paper, these recalled experiences are not consistent with hallucinations, illusions, or psychedelic drug–induced experiences, but instead unfold as a specific narrative arc that involves a perceived “separation from the body with a heightened, vast sense of consciousness and recognition of death” that includes travel to a special destination by the experiencer; a meaningful and purposeful review of the experiencer’s life that involves a critical analysis of all of their actions and intentions towards others; a perception of being in a place described as feeling like “home”; and, of course, the inevitable return to life, allowing the experiencer to impart their story.
  • The experience culminates into “previously unidentified, separate subthemes” and is associated with positive psychological transformation and growth that has long-term effects.
  • The lucidity and heightened consciousness reported by near-death experiencers is corroborated by studies that documented the emergence of gamma activity and electrical spikes in states related to death through the use of electroencephalography (EEG); a gamma-wave state is associated with lucidity and heightened consciousness.
  • Negative experiences during NDEs typically do not share the same unfolding narrative, transcendent states or positive transformative effects as their positively-themed counterparts.

Dr. Parnia’s team has found that the accumulated evidence suggests that neither physiological nor cognitive processes of the individual end with death, and although previous studies that have extensively researched the subject have been unable to definitively prove that our consciousness persists after we die, it is impossible to claim that it does not.

Dr. Parnia adds that “few studies have explored what happens when we die in an objective and scientific way, but these findings offer intriguing insights into how consciousness exists in humans and may pave the way for further research.”

You can relive the experience of Anne Strieber’s very own positive and transformative near-death experience in her and Whitley’s 2014 book, Miraculous Journey.
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  1. I wonder what it means to have a life review and then you come back to life. Do you have another one when you die-die?

    Sometimes a voice or a feeling tells you it’s not your time and you need to come back. But still, with the life review. Why review me if I’m not done yet?

    Is the beginning phase of death mechanical?

    1. perhaps, its precisely why you are reviewed, because you are not done yet, hence, there is still time to lead a redeemed life.

    2. Well…If you are waiting for the ‘life review’ when you die, you have already missed the boat. A life review should be something you are doing throughout your life.

  2. I have had several NDEs . I did not experience a life review and in only one of them was I sent back in a round about way . Returning was my choice and because of the great comfort and well being I felt while being clocked out of here I did so with mixed emotions however also with the understanding that comfort will always be there for me when I choose to take it . Its called waiting for others to join you there . True Love is much stronger then what we call death .

  3. As usual, I come in at the last. I have spent all afternoon catching up. I just signed up as a lifetime member and I’m going to take you on the wildest ride you thought you’d never have, because I am about to swoop down in my spaceship and pick you up. Fasten your seatbelts.

  4. 50 years ago yesterday, I was abducted by aliens like everyone else. Clearly, few of us remember but a few. I went out of my body and mingled with all the other souls and came back with great effort, heading my way to the ground. I needed you, to be free. It took everything I had and I was determined. Can you see where this is going. Yep. I’m the man back of the stand. It’s in d’ winky;)…

    Twixt. Gotcha.

    What do the aliens say? I’ll be back… when I graduate from Alien School… What do we humans say? Been there, done that? Human beings are the smartest species on the planetarium. They happen to reside in Whitley Strieber’s head. Certainly, the zoo. I happen to be the lion tamer. I happen to be that personality who appeared to him over and over in his dreams and I’ve been dreaming about him dreaming about me ever since. I am ET on the phone, calling from plea at ease. I have a direct line.

    Yoo-Hoo Whitley. Give me a call. Let’s make up stories ’bout the old times. I have quotes and expressions. I have recordings recorded from the most magnificent numbers. I have the equation which unlocks time and space and creates a black hole where’er needed. Thank God for Mr. Carpenter. Without him I’d be lost. Good thing I followed him to the spaceship. Good thing I snuck aboard. Good thing I know how to run the controls. Good thing I was there because Carpenter died in my arms and took his last breath and breathed to me and said take it from me kid.

    Yup. Good thing Elijah has a really big chariot. He falls, but never fails. Yup. I am that I am. The sidekick. Robin to you. Batman to me. The dynamic duo. Check it out. I don’t hide anything from my dynastic past. Yup. It’s me again. Isn’t it time? I’m afraid I may be late. I am not due to die for at least 3-4 years. And if I fail, I come back and fix it. I plan for 1000.

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