Haunt­ing study: brain tells us we are dead

Western Times - - LIFE -

WE KNOW we are dead when we die be­cause our brains keep work­ing to make us aware of what’s hap­pen­ing around us, haunt­ing new re­search sug­gests. Med­i­cal ex­perts have for­ever been at log­ger­heads over what hap­pens when hu­mans die, with anec­do­tal ev­i­dence of bright lights and flashes re­ported by peo­ple who have ‘come back’ be­ing the cause of much de­bate. How­ever, a new study sug­gests your con­scious­ness car­ries on func­tion­ing af­ter your heart stops beat­ing and your body move­ments fail. This means you are es­sen­tially ‘trapped’ in­side your dead body with your brain still work­ing, if only for a short time. Sur­vivors of car­diac ar­rest were aware of what was go­ing on around them while they were ‘dead’ be­fore be­ing ‘brought back to life’, the study re­vealed. More sur­pris­ing still, there is ev­i­dence to sug­gest the de­ceased may even hear them­selves be­ing pro­nounced dead by doc­tors. Dr Sam Par­nia is study­ing con­scious­ness af­ter death and ex­am­in­ing car­diac ar­rest cases in Europe and the US. He says peo­ple in the first phase of death may still ex­pe­ri­ence some form of con­scious­ness. The ex­pert ven­tured that peo­ple who have sur­vived car­diac ar­rest later ac­cu­rately de­scribed what was hap­pen­ing around them af­ter their hearts stopped beat­ing. He said: “They’ll de­scribe hav­ing aware­ness of full con­ver­sa­tions, of vis­ual things that were go­ing on, that would oth­er­wise not be known to them.”

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