There are patients reported having awareness of full conversations and things that were going on after they left their bodies…
What happens when you die? The real answer to this question fears many people. It is also referred to as thanatophobia (fear of death).
There are many NDE experiences reported where people have seen a light, or they have floated above their bodies, watching as doctors worked to keep them alive, or watched their parents cry in the waiting room.
It wasn’t known (until now) if the mind kept working after the body had died.
Scientists have now discovered that a person’s consciousness continues to work after they have died.
Dr Sam Parnia and her team from New York University Langone School of Medicine were eager to find answer to the big question: what happens after death?
They set out to find the answer by looking at studies in Europe and the US on people who have suffered a cardiac arrest and “come back to life”.
“They’ll describe watching doctors and nurses working and they’ll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them,” he told Live Science.
Their ‘visuals’ were verified by medical staff who reported their patients could remember the details.
And let’s be clear on this: death, in a medical sense, is when the heart stops and cuts the blood supply to the brain.
This means the brain’s functions also stop and can no longer keep the body alive.
The brain’s cerebral cortex — the so-called “thinking part” of the brain — also slows down instantly, and flatlines, meaning that no brainwaves are visible on an electric monitor, within 2 to 20 seconds. This initiates a chain reaction of cellular processes that eventually result in the death of brain cells, but that can take hours after the heart has stopped, Parnia said.
This eventually results in the death of the brain.
Dr. Parnia and his team members are observing how the brain reacts during a cardiac arrest to determine how much of these experiences relate to brain activity.
“At the same time, we also study the human mind and consciousness in the context of death, to understand whether consciousness becomes annihilated or whether it continues after you’ve died for some period of time — and how that relates to what’s happening inside the brain in real time,” he said.
It is not the first time brain activity after death has been recorded.
In March, doctors at a Canadian intensive care unit discovered that one person had brain activity for up to 10 minutes after they switched off their life support machine, but three others did not.
It means that for more than 10 minutes after the the person was declared clinically dead, brain waves, like those we experience in our sleep, continued to occur.
The researchers also found the experience of death can be very different for individual patients.
Each patient recorded different electroencephalographic (EEG) measures – the electrical activity in the brain – both before and after death.