Experts have discovered consciousness persists even once a person’s heart has stopped beating.
DEATH is an inevitable consequence of life, but scientists believe they may have found some light at the end of the tunnel.
Life after death has been “confirmed” by experts who say consciousness continues even once a person’s heart has stopped beating.
In a study of more than 2,000 people, British scientists confirmed that thought persists after death, and simultaneously uncovered convincing evidence of an out-of-body experience for a patient declared dead by medics.
Scientists had believed the brain ceased all activity 30 seconds after the heart stopped pumping blood around the body, and that awareness stopped at the same time.
But research from the University of Southampton suggests otherwise.
A new study shows people continue experiencing awareness for up to three minutes after death.
Speaking on the ground-breaking study, head researcher Dr Sam Parnia said: “Contrary to perception, death is not a specific moment but a potentially reversible process that occurs after any severe illness or accident causes the heart, lungs and brain to cease functioning.
“If attempts are made to reverse this process, it is referred to as ‘cardiac arrest’; however, if these attempts do not succeed it is called ‘death’.”
Out of the 2,060 patients from Austria, America and the UK interviewed for the study who had survived cardiac arrests, 40 percent said they were able to recall some form of awareness after being pronounced clinically dead.
Dr Parnia explained the significance: “This suggests more people may have mental activity initially but then lose their memories after recovery, either due to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory recall.”
Just two percent of patients described their experience as being consistent with the feeling of an out-of-body experience – the sensation where one feels almost completely aware of their surroundings after death.
Around half of the study’s respondents said their experience was not one of awareness, but fear.
Perhaps the most significant finding of the study is that of a 57-year-old man believed to be the first confirmed out-of-body experience in a patient.
After suffering a cardiac arrest, the patient revealed he was able to recall what was taking place around him with eerie accuracy after temporarily dying.
Dr Parnia said: “This is significant, since it has often been assumed that experiences in relation to death are likely hallucinations or illusions occurring either before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted, but not an experience corresponding with ‘real’ events when the heart isn’t beating.
“In this case, consciousness and awareness appeared to occur during a three-minute period when there was no heartbeat.
“This is paradoxical, since the brain typically ceases functioning within 20-30 seconds of the heart stopping and doesn’t resume again until the heart has been restarted.
“Furthermore, the detailed recollections of visual awareness in this case were consistent with verified events.”