View Full Version : Existence of Soul - Study to be published in The Lancet
12-10-2001, 07:30 PM
A medical study of NDers positing the existence of a soul will be published in the prestigious mainstream British medical journal The Lancet. Here is the report from yesterday's Sunday Telegraph (9 December 2001) from London:
Study 'proves' the soul exists
Its claimed a new study 'proves' the soul exists.
The evidence is from 'dead' patients whose hearts stop beating and then experience a form of afterlife.
The study will be published in the Lancet later this week.
Doctors who studied 344 heart attack survivors found more than one in 10 had experienced emotions, visions or lucid thoughts while they were "clinically dead" - unconscious with no signs of pulse, breathing or brain activity.
Some reported having "out-of-body" experiences. It supports a long-held view that the mind - or soul - can survive death.
The research, by a Dutch team, will be seized on by academics who support a theory that the mind can continue to work after the brain has stopped.
Church leaders will cite it as evidence for the existence of a soul.
The two-year study in 10 Dutch hospitals is the largest study into the phenomenon.
It found that 12 per cent of cardiac arrest survivors reported having various "near-death experiences" (NDEs) before being resuscitated.
Dr Peter Fenwick, a consultant neuropsychiatrist at London University, told The Sunday Telegraph, "If the mind and brain can be independent, then that raises questions about the continuation of consciousness after death. It also raises questions about a spiritual component to humans and about a meaningful universe with a purpose rather than a random universe."
Story filed: 12:16 Sunday 9th December 2001
12-10-2001, 10:57 PM
Steve, how can we state side gals get a copy of this British Journal? Do you think it's possible to get a copy of the Lancet here in rural america?
I would love to read it!
12-10-2001, 11:17 PM
Tammy, The Lancet has a web site with limited access to articles. http://www.thelancet.com/ . Maybe we'll be lucky and the article will be reproduced there.
12-10-2001, 11:20 PM
The LANCET is available online, free of charge for the current issue. You can go to their website, available thru any search engine, and register.
When the article appears, (I think Thurs or Fri this week) log on with name and password and save either the html or pdf copy of the study to your own hardrive. We will eventually get permission from the authors to host a copy of the study locally (in a few weeks/months) on www.survivalscience.org
Currently we have the full text of Dr Parnia's smaller study on this subject done at Southhampton Hospital (UK) on survivalscience with Dr. Parnia's permission.
12-11-2001, 08:47 AM
IMPORTANT -- DUTCH NDE STUDY
The Dutch NDE study will be published in The Lancet on December 15 (Saturday) according to press reports. In order to obtain a copy you need to go to the following website, register a user name and password (its free) and then find the article either as an html or pdf document and save it.
These free articles are on the web for only one week so it is important to remember to do this currently between 12/15 and 12/21/01. After the 21st it will no longer be available and you would have to buy it or find some other way to get a copy.
The website URL is:
12-13-2001, 09:50 AM
Thank you Cece and Steve :)
*tying a string around my finger* ( don't forget ;) )
12-15-2001, 01:03 PM
The article concerning the Dutch study of NDE is out today.
I just finished reading it, and understood most of the references with my layperson's knowledge of medical terms. But don't expect any "interesting stories" There is only one anecdotal telling of a patient's actual experience.
The most interesting point for me was the comparison between people who had spontaneous NDE experiences and those who had "induced" experiences through chemicals or brain stimulation. The latter subjects had none of the "life changing" thoughts or attitudes, such as loss of the fear of death, that occurred after spontaneous occurances of NDEs.
As Steve said, to read the article you have to register with the site and give some personal information, like name and address. If you're uncomfortable with this, just make up a name. (You wouldn't believe how much junk mail my dog gets since I went on the Internet. :D )
12-15-2001, 01:15 PM
In order to see the study in its original formatting you do have to register on site. Just to let those know who are not familiar with
medical journals, The Lancet is probably close to 100 years in business and is one of the oldest, continuously published mainstream British medical journals today. It is highly respected and it is quite a coup for people doing NDE research to find themselves in this company. If they do use your information it would be to try and get you to subscribe to their publications, all of which are ethical and medical in nature. They do not use your information to sell to spam or junk mail companies.
I will post a typewritten version of ithe intro and summary or abstract ... but I do recommend you download the formatted version from their website:
12-15-2001, 01:22 PM
This article is clearly labeled on their website as FREE. They are not expecting to make any royalties or collect any payments for it so I gladly forward the abstract/intro here in typed version for those who don't want to or are unable to visit their site.
To see the full study, original formatting and tables correctly I
strongly advise visiting The Lancet's website at:
Especially if what you read below is of any interest.....
Articles The Lancet 15 December 2001
Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in
Pim van Lommel, Ruud van Wees, Vincent Meyers, Ingrid Elfferich
Division of Cardiology, Hospital Rijnstate, Arnhem, Netherlands (P van
Lommel MD); Tilburg, Netherlands (R van Wees PhD); Nijmegen, Netherlands (V
Meyers PhD); and Capelle a/d Ijssel, Netherlands (I Elfferich PhD)
Correspondence to: Dr Pim van Lommel, Division of Cardiology, Hospital
Rijnstate, PO Box 9555, 6800 TA Arnhem, Netherlands
Background Some people report a near-death experience (NDE) after a
life-threatening crisis. We aimed to establish the cause of this experience
and assess factors that affected its frequency, depth, and content.
Methods In a prospective study, we included 344 consecutive cardiac patients
who were successfully resuscitated after cardiac arrest in ten Dutch
hospitals. We compared demographic, medical, pharmacological, and
psychological data between patients who reported NDE and patients who did
not (controls) after resuscitation. In a longitudinal study of life changes
after NDE, we compared the groups 2 and 8 years later.
Findings 62 patients (18%) reported NDE, of whom 41 (12%) described a core
experience. Occurrence of the experience was not associated with duration of
cardiac arrest or unconsciousness, medication, or fear of death before
cardiac arrest. Frequency of NDE was affected by how we defined NDE, the
prospective nature of the research in older cardiac patients, age, surviving
cardiac arrest in first myocardial infarction, more than one cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR) during stay in hospital, previous NDE, and memory
problems after prolonged CPR. Depth of the experience was affected by sex,
surviving CPR outside hospital, and fear before cardiac arrest.
Significantly more patients who had an NDE, especially a deep experience,
died within 30 days of CPR (p<0·0001). The process of transformation after
NDE took several years, and differed from those of patients who survived
cardiac arrest without NDE.
Interpretation We do not know why so few cardiac patients report NDE after
CPR, although age plays a part. With a purely physiological explanation such
as cerebral anoxia for the experience, most patients who have been
clinically dead should report one.
Lancet 2001; 358: 2039-45
Some people who have survived a life-threatening crisis report an
extraordinary experience. Near-death experience (NDE) occurs with increasing
frequency because of improved survival rates resulting from modern
techniques of resuscitation. The content of NDE and the effects on patients
seem similar worldwide, across all cultures and times. The subjective nature
and absence of a frame of reference for this experience lead to individual,
cultural, and religious factors determining the vocabulary used to describe
and interpret the experience.1
NDE are reported in many circumstances: cardiac arrest in myocardial
infarction (clinical death), shock in postpartum loss of blood or in
perioperative complications, septic or anaphylactic shock, electrocution,
coma resulting from traumatic brain damage, intracerebral haemorrhage or
cerebral infarction, attempted suicide, near-drowning or asphyxia, and
apnoea. Such experiences are also reported by patients with serious but not
immediately life-threatening diseases, in those with serious depression, or
without clear cause in fully conscious people. Similar experiences to
near-death ones can occur during the terminal phase of illness, and are
called deathbed visions. Identical experiences to NDE, so-called fear-death
experiences, are mainly reported after situations in which death seemed
unavoidable: serious traffic accidents, mountaineering accidents, or
isolation such as with shipwreck.
Several theories on the origin of NDE have been proposed. Some think the
experience is caused by physiological changes in the brain, such as brain
cells dying as a result of cerebral anoxia.2-4 Other theories encompass a
psychological reaction to approaching death,5 or a combination of such
reaction and anoxia.6 Such experiences could also be linked to a changing
state of consciousness (transcendence), in which perception, cognitive
functioning, emotion, and sense of identity function independently from
normal body-linked waking consciousness.7 People who have had an NDE are
psychologically healthy, although some show non-pathological signs of
dissociation.7 Such people do not differ from controls with respect to age,
sex, ethnic origin, religion, or degree of religious belief.1
Studies on NDE1,3,8,9 have been retrospective and very selective with
respect to patients. In retrospective studies, 5-10 years can elapse between
occurrence of the experience and its investigation, which often prevents
accurate assessment of physiological and pharmacological factors. In
retrospective studies, between 43%8 and 48%1 of adults and up to 85% of
children10 who had a life-threatening illness were estimated to have had an
NDE. A random investigation of more than 2000 Germans showed 4·3% to have
had an NDE at a mean age of 22 years.11 Differences in estimates of
frequency and uncertainty as to causes of this experience result from
varying definitions of the phenomenon, and from inadequate methods of
research.12 Patients' transformational processes after an NDE are very
similar1,3,13-16 and encompass life-changing insight, heightened intuition,
and disappearance of fear of death. Assimilation and acceptance of these
changes is thought to take at least several years.15
We did a prospective study to calculate the frequency of NDE in patients
after cardiac arrest (an objective critical medical situation), and
establish factors that affected the frequency, content, and depth of the
experience. We also did a longitudinal study to assess the effect of time,
memory, and suppression mechanisms on the process of transformation after
NDE, and to reaffirm the content and allow further study of the experience.
We also proposed to reassess theories on the cause and content of NDE.
We thank nursing and medical staff of the hospitals involved in the
research; volunteers of the International Association of Near Death Studies;
IANDS-Netherlands; Merkawah Foundation for arranging interviews, and typing
the second and third interviews; Martin Meyers for help with translation;
and Kenneth Ring and Bruce Greyson for review of the article.
12-15-2001, 02:25 PM
Thank you Steve for posting that here. :)
Some definitions of words that may be unfamiliar follows.
Psychol. a) a split in the conscious process in which a group of mental activities breaks away from the main stream of consciousness and functions as a separate unit, as if belonging to another person b) the abnormal separation of related ideas, thoughts, or emotions
total deprivation of oxygen
apnoea ( or apnea )
temporary stopping of breathing
of, affected by, or produced by the mind or a particular state of mind; of or resulting from the feelings or temperament of the subject, or person thinking; not objective; personal
Finally, a chance to be useful :)
got an A+ in Medical Terms LOL
12-15-2001, 02:30 PM
I would just like to add that "apnea" can be a permanent condition depending, again, on how long is permanent. There are people with neuromuscular diseases who do not breathe their whole lives, even quite long lives and are maintained on mechanical ventilators.
In these cases it was a temporary condition but can be either temporary or permanent.
12-15-2001, 03:15 PM
"She has required recuscitation, so the person does not always begin breathing again on their own. :( "
In the event CPR is not successful it can become permanent though. And yes, it is total cessation of breathing. Over time, a
very short time, if oxygenation and circulation is not restored by CPR it can result in physical death. Apnea is total cessation of
breathing due either to central neurologic causes (Central Apnea) or Airway Obstruction (Obstructive apnea). Whether its permanent or not depends on circumstances.
Sleep apnea is most usually caused by upper airway obstruction, floppiness of the muscles that hold the airway open when we are awake. Sleep apnea episodes terminate with an arousal causing muscle tone to be restored and enabling unobstructed breathing. It takes its toll over time and I hypothesize this is a contributing factor in cases where people "die in their sleep." It also disturbs sleep mightily, causing daytime fatigue and sleepiness, leading to poor performance at work or in school as well as accidents.
I also hypothesize that many children labeled ADD because of inattention, nodding off or zoning out during class really need their tonsils out!
12-15-2001, 03:22 PM
I deleted the post that you quoted, just in case people get confused. The post was mine...
Yes, I thought that apnea is temporary and that permanent cessation is called something else...
Thank you steve.
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