The Science of Near-Death Experiences
The story has almost become a cliche. A person dies, only to find herself floating above the scene. A tunnel of light appears, and she’s greeted by loved ones. A feeling of peace washes over her. Then, all of the sudden, she’s back, brought back to life, enriched by a near-death experience. Some say that these are simply hallucinations, a dying brain’s final chemical reactions, while others say that a brain near death couldn’t produce such sensory input. What’s the truth? What’s going on here?
The Science of Near-Death Experiences examines NDEs from a scientific standpoint, disregarding shoddy theorizing (for the most part) and delving into historical accounts, as well as accounts by medical professionals, in order to form a cogent, consistent concept of the phenomenon. It’s a fascinating look at what some might consider fringe science but that affects plenty of people in meaningful and profound ways.
And although some parts of the book descend into petty bickering by opposing viewpoints, there’s plenty to recommend here. The opening statement alone, which discusses how to handle a person who has just had an NDE, is wonderful, reminding us that the human side of medicine, often so quickly forgotten, can be incredibly powerful.
University of Missouri
John C. Hagan III