Following an extensive pilot project, the University of Southampton in England is moving ahead with the largest-ever study of near-death experiences.
The AWARE ~ AWAreness during Resuscitation ~ study is being conducted by an international collaboration of scientists and physicians who have joined forces to study the human brain, consciousness and clinical death, according to Science Daily.
The study is led by Dr Sam Parnia, an expert in the field of consciousness during clinical death. Following a successful 18-month pilot phase at selected hospitals in the UK, the study now includes other centers within the UK, mainland Europe and North America.
Unique Window of Understanding
"Contrary to popular perception, death is not a specific moment,” Parnia told Science Daily. “It is a process that begins when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working and the brain ceases functioning ~ a medical condition termed cardiac arrest, which from a biological viewpoint is synonymous with clinical death.
"During a cardiac arrest, all three criteria of death are present. There then follows a period of time, which may last from a few seconds to an hour or more, in which emergency medical efforts may succeed in restarting the heart and reversing the dying process. What people experience during this period of cardiac arrest provides a unique window of understanding into what we are all likely to experience during the dying process."
Studying Out-of-Body Too
Recent scientific studies have demonstrated that up to 20 per cent of people who go through cardiac arrest and clinical death report lucid, well-structured thought processes, reasoning, memories and sometimes detailed recall of events during their encounter with death.
During the AWARE study, doctors will use sophisticated technology to study the brain and consciousness during cardiac arrest. At the same time, they will test the validity of out of body experiences and claims of being able to 'see' and 'hear' during cardiac arrest.
Click here for the Science Daily article.