Near Death Experience Network Australia Title

home | contact |
Overview | NDErs | Ramana Maharshi | Mystics | Quantum Physics | Further Reading | References
IANDS | NDERF | Wikipaedia | How Stuff Works | Crisp & Taylor |
Overview | Moody | Ring | Sabom | Greyson | References |
Overview | Cherry Sutherland | Allan Kellehear | Pim van Lommel | Penny Sartori | Sam Parnia | Literature | References
Overview | Positive Aspects | Negative Aspects | References |
Overview | Aetiology | Theories on Causation | References |
Overview | Competencies and Codes | Self Reflection | Early Intervention | Early S&S of a Mental Health Problem | Interventions | References

reserach header

Home Image

Overview

 


Retrospective studies look backward in time, usually using medical records and interviews with patients who are already known to have had a NDE. Most sources of error due to confounding and bias are more common in retrospective studies than in prospective studies. Bias is both in the selection and recall/retrospection of patients. The outcome is measured before the exposure. For this reason, retrospective investigations are often criticised

Prospective studies approach all consequential patients with a pre­determined diagnosis within days of their coma or cardiac arrest with the question if they could remember anything from the interval they were unconscious. All medical and other data can be collected and documented. Prospective investigation is required to make precise estimates of either the incidence of an outcome or the relative risk of an outcome based on exposure. This increases the scientific value of the research in a major way.


The Journal of Near Death Studies is the only peer­reviewed scholarly journal (ISSN 0891­4494) devoted exclusively to the field of near­death studies. It is cross­disciplinary and published quarterly.

 

 

 

 

back to top ^

Cherry Sutherland

 


A very different way: A sociological investigation of life after a near­death experience
Sutherland, Cherie Olga.
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses 01/01/1992. Vol.0626,Iss.0423;p.1

Abstract

This study has as its central concern the investigation of life after a near­death experience (NDE). The problem was initially to discover whether changes had come about in the lives of a sample of near­death experiencers as a result of their NDE. Once this was established, the nature and extent of these changes was then examined. Underlying this investigation there was also an attempt to discover how near­death experiencers actually 'managed' their lives, and whether, and how, they were able to integrate the experience. Finally, there was an interest in finding a way to conceptualise the complexity of this integration process. Detailed interviews were conducted and recorded with a sample of fifty near­death experiencers, who were selected by 'availability sampling' and represented a wide range of demographic variables. Using a semi­structured or 'focussed' interview schedule eight main areas were covered: demographic information, details of the NDE, attitudes to death, religious/spiritual affiliations, psychic sensitivities, life direction (including attitudes to self and others), lifestyle priorities, and attitudes to social issues. In addition, further data was later gathered for a 'grounded theory' analysis, via 'theoretical sampling' primarily within the transcripts of interview, but also within an extensive correspondence, and the 'field notes' of individual and group meetings. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted on the results. The results show that a wide range of changes occur following an NDE. Experiencers no longer have any fear of death, they have a firm belief in an afterlife, and they report a noticeable increase in psychic sensitivities. They describe a strong commitment to spiritual growth but a movement away from organised religion. There is a definite shift to a more positive view of self and a more accepting, loving and compassionate attitude to others. They report a marked change in interests and an increase in concern with social issues, which often results in study and career change. The grounded theoretical analysis further discerned a pattern in the way NDErs manage to integrate the experience into their lives, and this was named the 'integration trajectory'. It was concluded that, in view of the fact that five percent of the population have had such an experience, the NDE should be seen not only as a force for profound personal transformation, but also as a force for positive social change.


Changes in religious beliefs, attitudes, and practices following near­death experiences: An Australian study
Cherry Sutherland
Journal of Near­Death Studies Volume 9, Number 1 / September, 1990

Abstract

This study examined changes in religious beliefs, attitudes, and practices in the lives of 50 near­death experiencers. I attempted to clarify whether these changes were to greater religiousness or to a deeper spirituality. I found that before the near­death experience (NDE), my respondents were no more religious or spiritually inclined than the general Australian population. Following the NDE there was a statistically significant shift towards spirituality on most items investigated

Near­death experience by proxy: A case study
Cherie Sutherland.
Journal of Near­Death Studies June, 1990. Vol.8,Iss.4;

Abstract

A recent interview with a 34­year­old man, currently serving a life sentence for murder, revealed a remarkable case of "near­death experience by proxy". The phenomenological features of the experience unfolded typically, with some slight variation in content. The immediate drastic changes in attitude and belief following the experience are described.

Psychic phenomena following near­death experiences: An Australian study
Cherie Sutherland.
Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 1989. Vol.8,Iss.2;

Abstract

This study examines the incidence of reports of psychic phenomena and associated beliefs both before and after the near­death experience (NDE). The near­death experiencers interviewed reported no more psychic phenomena before the NDE than the general population. There was a statistically significant increase following the NDE in the incidence of 14 of 15 items examined.

back to top ^

 

Allan Kellehear


Shared Near­Death and Related Illness Experiences: Steps on an Unscheduled Journey
Glennys Howarth; Allan Kellehear.
Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 2001. Vol.20,Iss.2;

Abstract
This paper discusses the key social features in shared journeys into near­death experiences (NDEs) and related illness experiences of other people. Of special interest in this paper is the way that those persons who are not ill or near death account for their sharing of these experiences. These are often people who are caregivers or intimates of NDErs or dying people but who claim to share part of the NDE or dying experience.

We provide case examples to illustrate the essential psychological and social experiences that these people undergo during their joint experiences with NDErs and other seriously ill people.

From an analysis of the recurrent themes emergent in these joint experiences we identify and discuss the major conceptual steps in the creation of their personal explanations:
(1) Exit the Familiar,
(2) Extraordinary Experiences,
(3) Extraordinary Experiences End,
(4) What Happened to Me?
(5) The World Responds, and
(6) The Return of the Native.

In the final analysis, the processes that these people undergo in the search for explanations is similar in most respects to those at the center of near­death and other related illness experiences.

An Hawaiian Near­Death_Experience
Allan Kellehear.
Journal of Near­Death Studies September, 2001. Vol.20,Iss.1;

Abstract

This paper is a case report of an Hawaiian near­death experience (NDE) from the early 1900s, which was uncovered in a turn­of­the­century monograph of Hawaiian folk tales (Thrum, 1907). The account differs from others in the same volume because it appears to be a real­life account rather than a folk tale. I describe similarities and differences from other Pacific area accounts, with particular attention to the only other Polynesian NDE account in the literature, a Maori NDE reported by Michael King in 1985.

Glimpses of utopia near death? a rejoinder
Allan Kellehear.
Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 1991. Vol.10,Iss.2;

Abstract

Five scholars have offered comments, suggestions, and criticisms of my paper "Near­Death Experiences and Pursuit of the Ideal Society." In this rejoinder, I reply to those comments and elaborate on aspects of my earlier paper. I discuss issues of methodology, epistemology, validity, logic, and other social considerations with respect to the plausibility of viewing some near­death imagery as utopian. I conclude with some reflections on the social character and study of the near­death experience.


Near­death experiences and the pursuit of the ideal society
Allan Kellehear.
Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 1991. Vol.10,Iss.2;

Abstract

Up to one half of near­death experiencers report a social and physical realm beyond death. I describe the features of this afterlife society and compare them with previous ideas about the ideal society. I argue that the society so often mentioned by near­death experiencers is a unique type of utopian society. As stories from utopia, near­death experiences (NDEs) serve as inspirational narratives that help us re­evaluate the social world and our place in it. They also help integrate sometimes contradictory paradigms from religion, politics, and science. In this way, NDE narratives may be seen as the latest chapter in a long search for better social ideas about living harmoniously with each other.

Five minutes after death: A study of beliefs and expectations
Allan Kellehear; Harvey Irwin.
Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 1990. Vol.9,Iss.2;

Abstract

This paper examines the beliefs and expectations that a sample of 508 people hold about the first five minutes after death. A substantial minority believed that they will experience the main elements of the neardeath experience (NDE). In general these elements were cited more frequently than were Biblical images. Six percent of the sample said that postmortem survival for them will be a negative and disturbing experience. We discuss these results in terms of their methodological implications for other survey work and their theoretical contribution toward our understanding of negative NDEs.

Near­death experiences and the measurement of blood gases
Michael D. Gliksman; Allan Kellehear.
Journal of Near­Death Studies September, 1990. Vol.9,Iss.1;

Abstract

Although cerebral anoxia is not thought to be responsible for triggering near­death experiences (NDEs), the issue is not so clear in the case of hypercapnia. Detection of normal blood gases in Michael Sabom's (1982) case study seems to be the major reply to suggestions that hypercapnia may have a causal role in NDEs. We argue, however, that routine arterial measures of blood gases are not a reliable indicator of cerebral levels.

Community attitudes toward near­death experiences: An Australian study
Allan Kellehear; Patrick Heaven.
Journal of Near­Death Studies March, 1989. Vol.7,Iss.3;

Abstract

In an Australian survey of community attitudes toward near­death experiences (NDEs), 173 respondents were asked to read a hypothetical description of an NDE and to select from a range of explanations that might approximate their own. Fifty­seven percent of the respondents believed the NDE was evidence of life after death, while less than 2 percent believed the NDE was a sign of mental illness. Women, younger persons, and those who professed a belief in life after death were more likely to react positively to the NDE described.

back to top ^

Pim van Lommel

 

Near­death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands
Pim van Lommel, Ruud van Wees, Vincent Meyers, Ingrid Elfferich
Lancet 2001; 358: 2039–45

Summary

Background
Some people report a near­death experience (NDE) after a life­threatening 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 344consecutive 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

back to top ^

Penny Sartori


A Prospectively Studied Near­Death Experience with Corroborated Out­of­Body Perceptions and Unexplained Healing
Penny Sartori, Paul Badham, Peter Fenwick
Journal of Near­Death Studies, 25(2), Winter 2006

Abstract

There are reports of veridical out­of­body experiences (OBEs) and healing occurring during near­death experiences (NDEs). We report a case in which there was strong evidence for both healing and a veridical OBE. The patient’s experience was thought to have occurred while he was unconscious in an intensive therapy unit (ITU). The patient’s account of an OBE contained many veridical elements that were corroborated by the medical team attending his medical emergency. He had suffered from a claw hand and hemiplegic gait since birth. After the experience he was able to open his hand and his gait showed a marked improvement.

A Long­Term Prospective Study to Investigate the Incidence andPhenomenology of Near­Death Experiences in a Welsh Intensive Therapy Unit
Penny Sartori
The Scientific and Medical Network, 27 Sep. 2007

At the time of commencement of this study, most NDE research was retrospective (Moody 1975, Ring 1980, Sabom 1982, Morse et al., 1985). A similar study (Parnia et al., 2001) was commenced at the same time as this study and followed a similar protocol, both projects being supervised by Dr Peter Fenwick. Further prospective studies have since been published (Parnia et al., 2001, van Lommel et al., 2001, Schwaninger et al., 2002, Greyson 2003).

The aim of this study was to establish if reductionist arguments of anoxia, hypercarbia or drug administration could explain the NDE. It was attempted to verify the out of body component by placing brightly coloured symbols (which could only be viewed from an out of body perspective) on top of the cardiac monitor at each patient's bedside.

The pilot study was undertaken during the summer of 1997. The official data collection began in January 1998 and was completed in January 2003.

Conclusion
There was no apparent influence of the demographic data. This sample was only representative of Welsh people; hence no diversity of culture. The reports were, however, consistent with other documented British NDEs. It is apparent that NDEs are not wishful thinking as some experiences did not meet the expectations of the patient and two NDEs were unpleasant.

One of the most significant findings of this research was that the closer one comes to death, the more likely it is that a NDE will be reported. The total number of patients who survived ITU (not all of whom came close to death) were compared with cardiac arrest survivors (those who had been clinically dead for a period of time). It was discovered that there was a much higher frequency of NDEs among cardiac arrest survivors. In comparing heart rhythms among cardiac arrest survivors, it was also discovered that the rhythm most prevalent in the NDE group was asystole ­ a rhythm associated with the highest fatality.

None of the OBErs in this study viewed the hidden symbols placed on the monitors. However, this study has shown that one patient reported a very accurate OBE during a period of unconsciousness. The other OBErs also reported accurate descriptions but these were not verifiable and could have been viewed from their position in the bed.

When contrasted with the control group, who had undergone resuscitation but did not report an OBE, many discrepancies were discovered. Having been asked to re­enact their resuscitation, the control group's reports were very inaccurate and demonstrated misconceptions and errors between the actual procedures performed, as well as equipment used. Many of these patients either had no idea as to how they had been resuscitated or made guesses, based on what they had previously seen on television.


Some NDEs reported in this study differed slightly from those reported in the literature. Except for the two deepest NDEs (Patients 10 and 11), they lacked the narrative quality and the patients did not appear to attach any significance to them or didn't understand them. This suggests that there could be a sub­set of NDErs who have fragments of the NDE, but do not think about it again unless asked.

It is likely that the NDE is an under­reported phenomenon. Only two NDEs were spontaneously reported to members of staff. These were deep NDEs, as they incorporated many of the NDE elements, and the experiences had sufficient impact to motivate the individuals to relate the experience to others. The remaining thirteen NDEs would not have been disclosed had the patients not been interviewed.

Under­reporting is further supported by three patients who reported a NDE, yet died very soon after. It is possible that patients, who briefly recover from a life threatening illness, may have experienced a NDE during the acute phase of their illness but do not regain their health sufficiently in order to report it.

This study has shown that very few NDEs were elicited from the total sample, the majority of whom were given painkilling and sedative drugs. If drugs were the cause of the NDE then a larger percentage of NDEs would be expected. There were also cases in which some experiences similar to NDEs became very confusional once painkilling drugs had been administered. Similarly, a patient was unable to recall an experience he had previously related to his visitors following a further period of sedation in response to a deterioration of his condition.

All patients (except one patient who was suffering from sleep deprivation) who reported hallucinations had been given a combination of large amounts of sedative and painkilling drugs. Comparison of the NDEs and hallucinations reported has highlighted the differences between the two types of experiences. Whereas the NDEs followed a pattern, the hallucinations were very random, bizarre and related to actual occurrences and the actions of members of staff. On follow­up, those who had reported hallucinations could rationalise that they had been hallucinating, whereas NDErs remained adamant that their experience was real.

Further unexplained aspects of the NDE, such as meeting deceased relatives who were not known to be dead at the time of the experience and gaining information in ways other than through the senses, could not be explained by physiological or psychological factors.

Having examined all aspects of the NDE, the phenomenon remains unexplained when considered from the current scientific perspective of consciousness being a by­product of neurological processes. This small study has suggested that NDEs occurred during unconsciousness in two of the patients and has contributed to the growing body of research in this area. The fact that clear, lucid experiences were reported during a time when the brain was devoid of activity (Aminoff et al., 1988, Clute and Levy 1990, de Vries et al., 1998), does not sit easily with current scientific belief.

Cases in which blood was extracted at the time of the NDE/OBE did not support the anoxia or hypercarbia theories. The drugs administered to the patients appeared to inhibit rather than cause the NDE. It must be noted that the sample is too small to be statistically significant; however, the combination of all data from recent and retrospective research provides a large amount of evidence, which can no longer be ignored or explained away. Current reductionist arguments are not supported when this phenomenon is examined in the clinical area. It is therefore essential that further research is conducted in order to establish a wider explanation of the NDE.

Note
This prospective study formed part of a much larger research project into near­death experiences for which the author was awarded a Ph.D of the University of Wales, Lampeter in 2005

 

 

back to top ^

Sam Parnia

 


Near death experiences in cardiac arrest: visions of a dying brain or visions of a new science of consciousness
S.Parnia
Resuscitation , Volume 52, Issue 1, Pages 5­11

In this article, Parnia reviews published research examining brain physiology and function during cardiac arrest as well as its potential relationship with near death experiences during this time. Finally, the contribution that near death experiences during cardiac arrest may make to the wider understanding of human consciousness is explored.


A qualitative and quantitative study of the incidence, features and aetiology of near death experiences in cardiac arrest survivors
S.Parnia
Resuscitation , Volume 48, Issue 2, Pages 149­156

This paper concerns a prospective study of cardiac arrest survivors to understand the qualitative features as well as incidence, and possible aetiology of near death experiences (NDEs) in this group of patients.

back to top ^

Literature



back to top ^

References

 


  • Sutherland, Cherie Olga, 1992, A very different way: A sociological investigation of life after a near­death experience, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses 01/01/1992, Vol.0626, Iss.0423;p.1
  • Glennys Howarth; Allan Kellehear, 2001, Shared Near­Death and Related Illness Experiences: Steps on an Unscheduled Journey Glennys Howarth; Allan Kellehear. Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 2001. Vol.20,Iss.2;
  • Cherie Sutherland, 1990, Near­death experience by proxy: A case study, Journal of Near­Death Studies June, 1990, Vol.8, Iss.4;
  • Cherie Sutherland, 1989, Psychic phenomena following near­death experiences: An Australian study, Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 1989. Vol.8,Iss.2;
  • Glennys Howarth; Allan Kellehear, 2001, Shared Near­Death and Related Illness Experiences: Steps on an Unscheduled Journey, Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 2001. Vol.20,Iss.2;
  • Allan Kellehear, 2001, An Hawaiian Near­Death_Experience Journal of Near­Death Studies September, 2001. Vol.20,Iss.1;
  • Allan Kellehear, 1991, Glimpses of utopia near death? a rejoinder, Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 1991. Vol.10,Iss.2;
  • Allan Kellehear, 1991, Near­death experiences and the pursuit of the ideal society, Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 1991. Vol.10,Iss.2;
  • Allan Kellehear; Harvey Irwin, 1990, Five minutes after death: A study of beliefs and expectations, Journal of Near­Death Studies December, 1990. Vol.9,Iss.2
  • Michael D. Gliksman; Allan Kellehear,1990, Near­death experiences and the measurement of blood gases, Journal of Near­Death Studies September, 1990. Vol.9,Iss.1;
  • Allan Kellehear; Patrick Heaven, 1989, Community attitudes toward near­death experiences: An Australian study
    Journal of Near­Death Studies March, 1989. Vol.7,Iss.3;
  • Pim van Lommel, Ruud van Wees, Vincent Meyers, Ingrid Elfferich, 2001, Near­death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands, Lancet 2001; 358: 2039–45
  • Penny Sartori, Paul Badham, Peter Fenwick, 2006, A Prospectively Studied Near­Death Experience with Corroborated Out­of­Body Perceptions and Unexplained Healing, Journal of Near­Death Studies, 25(2), Winter 2006
  • Penny Sartori, 2007, A Long­Term Prospective Study to Investigate the Incidence andPhenomenology of Near­Death Experiences in a Welsh Intensive Therapy Unit, The Scientific and Medical Network, 27 Sep. 2007
  • S.Parnia, Near death experiences in cardiac arrest: visions of a dying brain or visions of a new science of consciousness, Resuscitation , Volume 52, Issue 1, Pages 5­11
  • S. Parnia, A qualitative and quantitative study of the incidence, features and aetiology of near death experiences in cardiac arrest survivors, Resuscitation , Volume 48, Issue 2, Pages 149­156


back to top ^

Home | Contact Us |Google Group home page | Site map | © 2009 nde.net.au