New NDE Clinical Studies
“I’ll keep my questions down because I’m sure you don’t have a ton of time to answer lots of questions. This is such a wonderful opportunity for me, I love getting the chance to speak with someone who has such knowledge in a particular field of study. The first question I wanted to ask is: Has there been any new studies since Pim van Lommel’s, that was published in ‘Lancet,’ and have other researchers corroborated the findings that he has.
“The next thing I wanted to ask concerns patients who have had zero brain wave action or who have flatlined. Patients who have undergone cardiac arrest with a flat EEG make a very convincing case for the continuity of consciousness outside the body. Do you feel in your opinion that they will ever find that the brain is either emitting a low-level brain wave not detectable by current technology, or that scientists are going about it in a wrong way? The thing that fascinates me so much about NDEs is that they defy every attempt to explain them. Even if found to be a natural phenomenon, I don’t believe it will take all of the mystery out of the experience.
“Given the nature of NDEs, if they were a natural phenomenon, what difference do you think they would have from the current way we understand NDE, would it be the lack of long-term life changes, or is it something more (this question refers to the similarities between some drugs and some characteristics of NDEs).
“In the end, you have a unique advantage over other researchers because you have been there and back. Sometimes people feel that when someone goes through an experience they are writing about, it takes away their objectivity. I don’t see that in any of your writings. You are able to step back from both sides and present them fairly. I especially love the ending to your book, “Coming Back to Life;” very few people could express those words more eloquently than you, but then again you have experienced what other people who’s stories you research have. I apologize if this e-mail is so long. There are other questions I could ask as well, but I don’t want to take up all your time. I appreciate the opportunity to write you. God bless and keep safe.”…..Kevin
Kevin, you asked have there been any new studies since the clinical prospective study done by Dr. Pim van Lommel, that was published in “Lancet” medical journal, 12-15-01. Yes, studies have continued, some large, some small, combined with those done before Pim’s work, that have resulted in a plethora of papers now published in peer-reviewed journals. Pim’s work had a huge impact. With four large clinical prospective studies done in three countries (including Pim’s), plus all those published papers, the near-death experience today is the first choice of scientists worldwide to study consciousness itself. Because of this work, we can say that things like out-of-body experiences, the dead come back, visitors from the Other Side, otherworldly journeys, are all natural and typical to the experience and are not related to oxygen deprivation, the dying brain, hallucinations, or any of the other physical conditions skeptics are so quick to offer. There is more, though. Look for news about the AWARE project. This is ongoing, a worldwide study (Awareness During Resuscitation) that includes 25 medical centers, over 1,500 patients, and is slated to last three years. There may be an announcement this fall about preliminary findings. Some of the doctors involved are already speaking to the press. There was a symposium held at the United Nations last September that focused on this project. For more information, refer to http://www.mindbodysymposium.com . Also, it would be good to check from time to time for announcements on the IANDS website (International Association for Near-Death Studies) at www.iands.org.
You asked about the brain and finding a low level emission not currently detectable. Anything is possible with enough time spent and the funding of such an advanced study. It is my observation based on my own work that the key to understanding what might be the trigger in near-death states – has something to do with the lymbic system. I know there has already been much study of the lymbic, but I still suggest that there is more to know about this ancient part of the evolving human brain – functions we can only guess at during this period of scientific inquiry.
I’m not certain what you mean with your question about long-term changes afterward, and what I have discussed in previous books. The book you mentioned, “Coming Back to Life,” was my very first attempt to write about my initial findings. There was much fear on my part in doing this, as I did not have a degree at the time and I had used a different protocol in doing my work that seemed to “fly in the face” of what had been done previously. That fear, as it turned out, was well-founded, setting the stage for years of attacks against me and my research. This, along with facing a near-bankruptcy following a take-over of my publisher by a hostile raider (during the days when “greed is good”), left us with no money and little hope. I went into a deep depression, coming out of it convinced that the only solution to the situation I was in was for me to ignore my detractors and do more and work harder. This is exactly what I did. My continued findings filled a total of eight more books, making a total of nine. I am now on my 10th and last book about my near-death research. As “a circle closes” on my work, I am finally giving myself permission to say what I have always wanted to say but never could. The working title of this book is “Straight Talk about the Near-Death Experience: Who We are as Humans, Where We’re Headed as the Souls We Truly Are.” Working titles seldom survive editing, so it’s hard to say at this point how the book will finally turn out or what it will be called. Now that some of my findings have been verified in clinical studies (I’m in the “Lancet” article), my work is finally receiving a modicum of respect. There is no way I could or would detail how much my husband and I have lost because I did the research I did. We look forward to the day when we can “catch up” financially. In the meantime, I have been truly gratified by the tens of thousands of experiencers (no exaggeration) who have said “my work saved their life.” We both rejoice that this is so. Thank you, PMH
1. I have now completed Part II of my article “Tidbits for Tough Times.” Those who are signed up for the mass mailing list that operates off my website have received both of these articles. They are now posted in the Article Section of my website at
2. Please, don’t forget about “Friday Afterlife Report.” This is also a free service and is run by Victor and Wendy Zammit in Australia. Victor is quite enamored about the entire range of spirit appearances and stories. He shares with those on his list a plethora of reportings and news. Should you be interested in signing up for this service, contact him at
3. I urge you to join IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies). They are the premier clearing house for the entire field of near-death studies and related experiences. These are exciting times concerning the phenomenon, with new and important discoveries of worldwide importance occurring with some frequency. The field is no longer like it used to be, but has broadened and deepened significantly. Contact them via their website,