People can know they’re dead when, in fact, they are. An NYU researcher said that the human body doesn’t stop working when the heart does — not completely, at least. In fact, according to this theory, people would be able to still hear doctors stating their hours of death while being covered by a white blanket, or wrapped in a black bag.
This study was first published in 2014 and performed by the director of critical care and resuscitation research at the NYU Langone School of Medicine, in New York City, Dr. Sam Parnia. He and his team were very criticized within the scientific community because of how crazy this theory sounds. Many researchers didn’t believe that a human consciousness is still able to work even after the signs of life stop.
However, Dr. Parnia —even today— is completely sure of what he is claiming. What people wonder is: how long can a person still function, or “live”, after it dies? Does it really see the lights at the end of the tunnel, or meet with some kind of angel? Does it really fly over doctors? What happens to us within this amount of time in limbo, between life and death?
No matter these answers, this study is considered the largest of its kind ever conducted, and it has interested many across the world – both scientists and other people.
Scientists used people who ‘died’ before
To perform this study, the NYU team gathered patients who had died after suffering from cardiac arrest but somehow were still alive.
Dr. Parnia built his theory by studying American and European people who were first technically declared as dead, but then returned to life. He wondered what happened to them while they were “dead,” so the patients answered him.
Some of them assured that they still had awareness of what was going on within the room: doctors using medical tools, conversations between nurses, and more. In fact, others said they perfectly remember the faces of the medical staff present at that time because they saw them while dead.
The NYU team later met all those people who could testify what the patients said, and verified everything was true.
Doctors certify a person is dead when its heart-beatings stop, provoking its blood flow to the brain to also be cut off.
“Technically, that’s how you get the time of death – it’s all based on the moment when the heart stops. Once that happens, blood no longer circulates to the brain, which means brain function halts almost instantaneously,” Doctor Parnia said. “You lose all your brain stem reflexes – your gag reflex, your pupil reflex, all that is gone.”
However, other scientists, who are not related to this work, share the idea that the brain still saves a little bit of energy after the body dies.
University of Michigan researchers studied a mischief in 2013. They induced them heart attacks and observed the electrical signals inside their brains.
In all nine anesthetized rats, researchers saw activity patterns which are linked to a “hyper-alerted state” in the brief period after clinical death.
“In the same way that a group of researchers might be studying the qualitative nature of the human experience of ‘love’, for instance, we’re trying to understand the exact features that people experience when they go through death,” Dr Parnia said. “We understand that this is going to reflect the universal experience we’re all going to have when we die.”