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How the World of Medical Research Explain Clinical Death

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Although near-death experiences have been explained from the theological angles, there is a growing body of research presently emphasising the explanation of the near-death experiences. Particularly, Beichler (2017) referred to a case study of a diabetes patient who had reported the experience with near-death, during hypoglycaemia period (having low blood sugar levels). The patient had been within the rapid eye-movement state of sleeping state or the common marker of dreaming, a state believed to be underling the consolidation of memories; hence, a process explaining the near life reviews during near-death experience. Despite not being in danger of death, after resuscitation, the client recollected classic features of the near-death experiences.
Near death experience from a scientific perspective has been studied on the basis of supporting the afterlife hypothesis (Goza et al., 2014). Studies from NDErs have specified that the individuals experience or observe events much far away, and third parties verified that indeed, they occurred. The phenomenon is regarded as veridical perception but still there has not been any medical explanation of the theory. Accordingly, out-of-the body experiences are now providing the substantiation that there is the high likelihood of the consciousness surviving when detached from the physical body and as such, even survive after death (Beichler, 2017).

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Clinical Death Concept

Clinical death is both defined and explained from a simple concept and perspective to complex exploration of the field of study. For one, clinical death would mean the stoppage of heath beat, breathing or the pulse, which from the medical science, defines clinical death (Behringer et al., 2003). On the other hand, during clinical death, most of the organs, especially kidney and the eye remain functional and permit the transplantation process. Consequently, within the scientific field, death, to a greater extent, is defined from clinical perspective, which does not refer to cellular or biological death; it entails the moment when a victim collapses in cardiopulmonary arrest (Zielinski, 2011). Therefore, when a victim appears dead, he or she has experience clinical death; being unconscious, not breathing and showing no signs of palpable pulse. Consequently, for clinical death, there are chances of reversing the status but only when promptly recognised and effectively managed to prevent biological dead (usually irreversible death) (Behringer et al., 2003).

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Near Death Experience

Throughout time, scientific study is increasing focusing on attempting to explain the concept of near death experience, which to a greater extent, is attributed to the physical changes occurring in a dying or stressed brain (Beichler, 2017). However, near-death experiences have been historically viewed or regarded as one of the mystical phenomena but with increased research emphasis on the area, there are scientific evident providing justified explanations on the near-death experience. Near-death experience, by explanation, entails the sense of being dead, whereby one has the inherent feeling that the soul has left the body, travels towards a brighter light and as such, departs to another reality with all-encompassing bliss and love (Tassell-Matamua and Lindsay, 2016). Conversely, science indicates that all the phenomena happening during near-death experiences have biological explanations. An excellent example is the feelings of being dead, which to a greater extent is not limited to NDEs but cases of individuals having walking corpse syndrome are providing evidence denoting that these individuals have the embedded or delusional beliefs that they are dead or deceased (Bourdin et al., 2017). The disorder major occur after trauma, for instance extensive typhoid stages, or even multiple sclerosis all linked to parietal cortex in the brain region and the prefrontal cortex. Typically, parietal cortex is responsible for attentional processes while the prefrontal cortex plays the role of delusions, mostly observed with psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia (Goza et al., 2014). Hence, for the walking corpse syndrome, the possible explanation is that these individuals are trying best to make sense of the strange experiences.

What Death Is

Scientific evidence and research have outlined some of the common or conventional explanations on the concept of death. From science, death is regarded as the cellular compromise (Van Brussel and Carpentier, 2014); death is defined or regarded from the perspective of self-destruction. On other hand, the simple definition of death regards or defines the term as process through which the soul is separated from the body. However, such a definition aligns with the religious explanation of death and shows the extent to which religion has been tied to people’s perspective or viewpoint on the concept of death. Alternatively, the biological perspective does not provide easier and simple means of defining death (Van Brussel and Carpentier, 2014). Consequently, there are other medical as well as technological advances which have equally made the conceptualization of death as difficult task. Biology currently has different views on death. For instance, death is defined from the abolition of the cell functions of which the entire cell systems within the body experience permanent death, or are not functional (Bourdin et al., 2017). Nonetheless, the brain has been the major element used in defining death. In essence, death occurs when there has been a compromise in the entire brain system or functioning brought about by the cessation in the blood circulation (Van Brussel and Carpentier, 2014). Therefore, from biology, death happens or occurs when the entire body system does not have blood or experience blood circulation. In this case, death has been defined or studied from the functional elements of the brain which science believes is responsible for controlling and determining consciousness.

What Is Out of Body Experience

Out of body experience is attributed to the veridical perceptions that people have from the positions outside and above their lifeless bodies. In this case, the individuals experience the feelings of being apparently leaving or taken off the body and appear to retain own identity with the possibilities of emotion, perception and even having clear consciousness (Bourdin et al., 2017). Even so, the concept is of great importance because as of currently, nurses, doctors and even relatives can use the same in verifying the reported perceptions, more so the NDE with OBE happening during the CPR period (Josephs, 1994). Hence, the evidence indicates that OBE is never hallucination since it is the experience of perception with no basis in reality, cannot be delusional, but still inaccurate assessment of correct perception (Bourdin et al., 2017). Out of the body experience has drawn the clinicians into assessing whether an OBE ought to be considered as a type of non-sensory perception.

In a bid to determine the accuracy of using OBE as part of the non-sensory experiences, Bourdin et al. (2017) referred to the case of a patient who had been brought to a hospital in a comatose state into the coronary care unit. The patient had been found in a coma state approximately 30 minutes before and after intubation, dentures in his mouth were removed and placed in crash cart. After about an hour, the patient regained sufficient heart rhythm and blood pressure although was still intubated and ventilated, still under comatose, after which the process involved transferring the patient to the intensive care unit for the continuance of artificial respiration. However, after a week, the patient came back to the hospital, under the cardiac unit and could remember the nurse who had taken his dentures. To the surprise of the care team, the patient remember seeing them when being brought to the hospital, how his dentures were taken out of the mouth, put onto the cart, remembering every detail including the bottles beneath, sliding drawer where the teeth were placed. The medical team had been amazed considering that the man was in a comma and CPR was being performed. In this example, the patient had seen himself on the bed, perceived from the above how the nurses and doctors were busy on the CPR (Bourdin et al., 2017). In addition, the patient accurately described and gave the details of the small room where the resuscitation was taking place including the appearance of those who were around.

Examples of Clinical Death Experiences

One of the documented examples of clinical death and spiritual awaking was the patient from Cleveland Ohio, Brian Miller who had been identified as dead after a massive heart attack in the hospital. However, the interest bit with his experience was that the heart began beating after 45 minutes, which took doctors by a surprise. However, during the “death”, Miller reported to have seen light and relatives who had long gone or died. The client also reported to walking in heavenly path which was expressively lined with flowers. Through the journey, he also remembers to have been stopped by a mother in law who passed away just recently. In addition, the client remembers the mother-in-law grabbing his arm and telling that it was not his time and even reporting to meeting another relative before regaining consciousness. The challenging bit with the story is that despite the individual dying for 45 minutes, the brain had not received oxygen while on the other hand, the doctors also reported that Miller had not suffered any type or kind of brain damage. From his experience, Miller concluded the existence of afterlife as being real and as such, called for people to believe in its existence.

There is also the story of Nadine and Raymond from Belgium who had suffered heart attack. However, after the oxygen had been cut from the brain, they experienced spiritual awaking or out of the body experiences. The clients reported feeling like being sucked away from the body, and as such, going through black tunnel, at a fast speed, a speed which one cannot express because it is not being experienced. For instance, Nadine reported seeing herself from outside of the body, experiencing a feeling as if one is within a cloud, but again, like not really happening. Raymond also reported to have experienced a light appearing at the end of a tunnel and as such, there was a female voice or figure that communicated with him.

Near Death Experiences as Evidence for Intelligence/Consciousness Survival

Near death experience is attributed to the changes in the electromagnetic field elements of the brain. In this case, to explain the correlation, the stimulation as well as inhibition of the external magnetic as well as electrical fields on the continuously changing electromagnetic fields within the neuronal networks in the normal brain function status would explain the relationship between NDE and consciousness. As of currently, the close scientific evidence on this issue is the neuorphysilogical research which are implemented through transcanial magnetic stimulation or TMS when the localized magnetic fields have been produced. In essence, TMS has the ability of exciting or inhibiting various parts of the brain subject to the amount of energy fed which leads to the functional mapping of the cortical regions in addition to creating transient functional lesions. Moreover, the situation or conditions allows for the assessment of the functional brain regions on millisecond scale of which the results helps in studying the contribution of the cortical networks to the specific brain’s cognitive functions. Accordingly, TMS has the ability of interfering with the motion and visual perception since it interrupts the cortical processing for between 80 and 100 milliseconds. On the other hand, the intra-cortical inhibition as well as the facilitation gained during the paired pulse with TMS have reflected inter-neurons activity within the cortex.

Conversely, with the interruption of the electrical fields within the local neuronal networks in the cortex parts also leads to the disturbance of the normal brain functioning. Close evidence has shown that localized stimulation of the electrons within parietal and the temporal lobe in epilepsy surgery, there are induced flashes in recollecting the past, although not complete life reviews, sound, light and music experiences and other individuals have attested to having undergone out of the body experience(OBE). Nonetheless, the external magnetic or the electrical stimulation have their effects subjected to the duration and intensity of the energy input. In some instances, the stimulation may happen under small energy input although stimulation with higher energy leads to the local cortical functions inhibition whereby the electrical and the magnetic fields within the cortical neuronal networks become extinct. Therefore, a major conclusion during this study is that localized artificial stimulation when the real photons inhibits and disturbs the changing electromagnetic fields of the neuronal networks can lead to an influence and inhibition of the normal brain functioning.

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