We Just Proved There's Life After Death

Monday, 13 November 2017 - 3:10PM
Science News
Monday, 13 November 2017 - 3:10PM
We Just Proved There's Life After Death
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Image credit: Pixabay
Is there life after death? It's one of the core questions that makes us human. Now, we may finally have an answer.

New research suggests that human consciousness doesn't necessarily cease immediately once the heart stops beating.

Patients whose hearts had stopped but were revived have reportedly been able to "describe watching doctors and nurses working; they'll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them," said Dr. Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City.
Physicians medically define death as when the heart has stopped beating. "Technically speaking, that's how you get the time of death - it's all based on the moment when the heart stops," Dr. Parnia explained.

He added that
 Cardiac arrest refers to the disruption of the electrical signals that get the heart to pump, which leads to death. No blood flow to the brain means no brain function. 

The cerebral cortex—where thinking takes place—slows down to the point where brainwaves cannot be determined by an electric monitor; the well-known term for this is "flatlining."

Brain cells begin to die within seconds of this, but Dr. Parnia says that can take hours following the stopping of the heart. This could mean consciousness is still taking place. 

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) can help keep the brain working by sending a small amount of blood its way, which can slow the death of brain cells but "it isn't enough to kick-start the brain into working again, which is why reflexes don't resume during CPR," Dr. Parnia says.

"If you manage to restart the heart, which is what CPR attempts to do, you'll gradually start to get the brain functioning again. The longer you're doing CPR, those brain cell death pathways are still happening—they're just happening at a slightly slower rate."  

Dr. Parnia states that a considerable amount of anecdotal evidence reveals that some people whose hearts stopped and then restarted could accurately describe what had occurred around them during resuscitation. These memories were further confirmed by medical staffers present at the time.

If there really is an afterlife, this is exactly where we should start investigating. 
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Science News
We Just Proved There's Life After Death