The largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences has discovered that some awareness may continue even after the brain has shut down completely.
“We know the brain can’t function when the heart has stopped beating,” said Dr Sam Parnia, a former research fellow at Southampton University, now at the State University of New York, who led the study.
“But in this case, conscious awareness appears to have continued for up to three minutes into the period when the heart wasn’t beating, even though the brain typically shuts down within 20-30 seconds after the heart has stopped.
Well, you’ve just said there that the brain doesn’t work when the heart stops: but that it works for 20-30 seconds when the heart stops. And then your amazing finding is that perhaps it doesn’t stop for 3 minutes or more after the heart stops.
Which isn’t, when you think about it, really evidence of life after death. It’s evidence that the transition from life to death takes a little longer than you’ve previously been estimating. And that’s not all that much of a surprise either. Because people have been “brought back to life” after the heart stops without brain damage. Thus the brain can indeed survive for some period of time without it getting new oxygen from the bloodstream.