“Traditionally, many of the major questions that mankind has faced have been tackled by philosophy or theology. However, in the last few centuries, science has gradually begun to seek, and has been able to provide to a certain extent, answers to such questions. One of the areas still eluding science’s grasp has been the question of what happens when we die, as well as the nature of the human mind and consciousness and their relationship with the brain.”
A research project at medical centres across the UK, US and Europe is examining what happens to consciousness after we “die” (in inverted commas because death is measured by a sliding scale and it’s possible to be brought back, sometimes up to an hour after the heart stops beating). It’s arisen out of numerous reports of Near-Death Experiences, as well as a study that shows 20% of people who have a flatline brain state and are resuscitated, still have lucid memories of what happened around them. Obviously, a lack of brain activity suggests that shouldn’t be the case.
The study could release its findings as early as 2012.
Meanwhile, Critical Care Doctors at the George Washington University Medical Faculty have released a new report which shows that patients “experienced a sudden electrical ‘alertness’ or spike in brain waves in the moments before they died. The spikes came in the same moments just before each patient’s death. They rose to comparable levels and were consistent in duration.”.
Researchers suggest this may be the first scientifically recorded sign of the near-death experience.