September 12, 2008

AWARE

The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study began this week , the world's largest ever study of near-death experiences.

World's Largest-ever Study of Near-Death Experiences

The University of Southampton is launching the world's largest-ever study of near-death experiences this week... by the Human Consciousness Project of the University of Southampton - an international collaboration of scientists and physicians who have joined forces to study the human brain, consciousness and clinical death.

The study is led by Dr Sam Parnia, an expert in the field of consciousness during clinical death, together with Dr Peter Fenwick and Professors Stephen Holgate and Robert Peveler of the University of Southampton. Following a successful 18-month pilot phase at selected hospitals in the UK, the study is now being expanded to include other centres within the UK, mainland Europe and North America.

"Contrary to popular perception," Dr Parnia explains, "death is not a specific moment. 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."

Posted by Jill Fallon at September 12, 2008 10:58 AM | Permalink