Near-Death Survivors Experience ‘Purposeful Life Review Without External Signs of Consciousness’: Study

Some people experiencing cardiac arrest recalled a meaningful experience of death, including a lucid purposeful review of their time on Earth.
Near-Death Survivors Experience ‘Purposeful Life Review Without External Signs of Consciousness’: Study
An emergency medical technician lowers a patient from an ambulance outside the emergency room at the Community Hospital of Huntington Park in Huntington Park, California, on Dec. 29, 2020. (Bing Guan/Reuters)
Naveen Athrappully

“I do remember a being of light … standing near me. It was looming over me like a great tower of strength, yet radiating only warmth and love … I caught glimpses of my life and felt pride, love, joy, and sadness, all pouring into me.

“Each image was of me, but from the standpoint of a being standing with me or looking on … I was shown the consequences of my life, thousands of people that I'd interacted with and felt what they felt about me, saw their life and how I had impacted them. Next, I saw the consequences of my life and the influence of my actions.”

These are the words of a patient brought back to life after a cardiac arrest (CA), part of a new near-death experience (NDE) study by researchers looking into cognitive activity and awareness during periods of CA.

Many near-death survivors reported experiencing awareness and powerful, lucid experiences while doctors tried to resuscitate their bodies. Such experiences include perceptions of being separate from the body; an evaluation of their life’s actions and relationships; and observing events without pain or distress. Such experiences have often been dismissed as illusions, hallucinations, or even dreams. However, a recent study suggested there may be extraordinary experiences that could be measurable and researched.

“Consciousness, awareness, and cognitive processes may occur during CA. The emergence of normal EEG [electroencephalography] may reflect a resumption of a network-level of cognitive activity, and a biomarker of consciousness, lucidity and RED (authentic “near-death” experiences),” noted the study’s conclusion.

Researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine looked at the link between cognitive activity and awareness during cardiac arrest when physicians were administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), according to a Sept. 14 press release by NYU Langone Health.

The study found that some of the patients revived by CPR had clear memories of experiencing death after their hearts stopped for up to an hour. And while they were unconscious, the patients had brain patterns that linked to thought and memory.

Researchers suggest that during the cardiac arrest period, the dying brain removes its natural inhibitory (braking) systems. The process, called disinhibition, is not “hallucinatory, illusory or delusional,” according to the study published in the journal Resuscitation in July.

Instead, it “appears to facilitate lucid understanding of new dimensions of reality,” including evaluating all memories, thoughts, intentions, and actions towards others “from a moral and ethical perspective.”

Among the 567 patients studied as part of the research, only 53 survived—out of which 28 offered interviews with the researchers, and 11 reported memories or perceptions “suggestive of consciousness” during cardiac arrest while being given CPR.

“Although doctors have long thought that the brain suffers permanent damage about 10 minutes after the heart stops supplying it with oxygen, our work found that the brain can show signs of electrical recovery long into ongoing CPR,” said senior study author Sam Parnia, an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health.
“This is the first large study to show that these recollections and brain wave changes may be signs of universal, shared elements of so-called near-death experiences.”

Life Altering Experience, Reality Versus Unreality

To many people, a near-death experience (NDE) can be life-changing. Dr. Bruce Greyson, who has done research on the phenomenon, found that near-death experiences tend to change a person into a better version of themselves. In an interview with The Epoch Times back in 2015, he described one such case.

“In one case, a man was an alcoholic, and he was abusive toward his wife. After an NDE, he became an all-around good Samaritan. He didn’t drink; he was good to his wife; he helped others. For example, he rushed to New Orleans to join efforts following Hurricane Katrina,” Dr. Grayson said.

A 2014 study published in the National Library of Medicine that surveyed 1,122 people who experienced NDE suggested that classifying their experience as unreal could be a wrong move.

The “great majority” of the survey respondents asserted that their NDE experience was real, with respondents including several scientists, attorneys, nurses, and physicians.

“These findings suggest that, for the majority of us who have not personally experienced an NDE, we should be very cautious about labeling NDEs as ‘unreal,’” the study said.

“Given that such a high percentage of NDErs consider their experiences to be ‘definitely real,’ it would be reasonable to accept their assessment of the reality of their personal experience unless there is good evidence that their experiences were not real.”

Mom Claims to Meet God Face-to-Face

An Arizona woman whose heart stopped beating for 27 minutes claims she has seen God face-to-face in heaven, and it was He who orchestrated her “medically documented miracle,” bringing her back to life at His mercy. Her first words, scrawled on a piece of paper by her bedside, read, “It’s real.”

“I was before the face of God. One in a million have this happen to them, and for whatever reason, God chose for me to do this,” Tina Hines, who has made it her mission to share her testimony, told The Epoch Times.

“In those 27 minutes, I mean being dead, they had no signs of life—no breathing, no heartbeat that was showing on the monitor. I didn’t need to have this [near-death experience] happen in order to believe that God is real and that heaven is real. I’ve always believed that, deeply and passionately. But God gave it to me as a gift so that I could share more about it.”

After suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, Ms. Hines was resuscitated.

“A lot of people want to know, ‘Did you see family members? Did you see your pets that have passed away?’ I saw nothing except for Jesus. There were no words, it was just that presence of Jesus being with me—seeing my beautiful Savior’s face. His beautiful, amazing face standing there before me. Just He and I there together, with His arms stretched out to me and completely open drawing me into Him. We just looked at one another. There were no words, it was just that presence. I truly was blinded by the yellow, the bright yellow that was there, and the lights that were coming from behind Him.”

Ms. Hines has accepted the skepticism of non-believers, claiming that while doctors may say it was “just loss of oxygen and hallucinations,” her story contains no exaggeration. “It was seeing Jesus face-to-face, with his arms stretched out, just giving me that comfort of no pain, no trauma, no drama. It was just completely before the Lord,” she said. “Then, He sent me back.

Three days after her heart attack, Ms. Hines had a 2-by-2-inch defibrillator implanted near her left collarbone to monitor her heart rate. She was discharged from the hospital the next day.

Louise Chambers contributed to this article.