Evolving news on the science, writing and thinking about Near Death Experiences (NDEs)

Brand New Findings Revealed?

Thanks to Eduardo for picking this one up. I am extremely busy at the moment so don’t always have the time to trawl the networks for anything Parnia or NDE related, so appreciate when others email me links or post them in discussions. I felt this was worth pulling out. It was aired earlier this week on Dr Oz on January 22nd 2018. Dr Oz opens the segment with the announcement that brand new findings are going to be revealed (in the show). He then introduces Dr Parnia…well have a look yourself, click on the picture of our favorite intensive care doctor to access the video:


Is this a sleight of hand or is there actually new data, or “brand new findings”?

Dr Parnia on one hand seems to describe the design of the most recent iteration of AWARE, AWARE II, then slips in “we did a study…” talking about the results from AWARE I. Given that he categorically stated in emails and on his Twitter feed that the results from AWARE II won’t be made public until after the study is finished in 2020, and that at this stage they have only recruited 350 or so, one can only assume that he is referring to AWARE I. However, the confidence he has in the assertions he makes seem to be growing stronger, which makes me believe that AWARE II has got some verified hits. AWARE I did not have any properly confirmed OBEs (i.e. validated sightings of pictures). There were some interesting accounts, and without doubt some real NDEs, and OBEs, but without the visual confirmation, they are nothing more than has been reported from countless other studies or independent accounts.

I do wonder why he is doing this. Is it to plug his book (Dr Oz does that at the end of the segment)? On some days he seems keen to protect the integrity of the study by not disclosing any preliminary results, but on others he does this kind of stuff. I guess there’s nothing specifically wrong with it, but from my perspective as a scientist, I do find the hyperbole attached to this format of show to be distracting and potentially tainting the credibility of the research, especially when the headlines do not match the reality. From what I can see there are no new major findings presented in this show.

As I say above, I can only assume that he is so confident now in producing paradigm shifting results, that he knows that in the long term, this will not cause any damage.

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99 thoughts on “Brand New Findings Revealed?

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  1. I regularly check the news for near death experience research and it seems that article from the express has slowly morphed into that piece from other pieces. I coukd be wrong but it seems to have started with the live science article back in October 2017. Generally you find old articles re-hashed or morph into new ones. This is more so when the research is primarily off other previous media articles, as opposed to articles conducted directly with the person (in this case Sam parnia) themselves.


  2. I just google new or scholar Parnia or Sam Parnia as my filter.


  3. “Agree with you Tim. I doubt that Dr Parnia ever said that. The Express is one of the worst tabloids in the UK. Even if he did say it, there may be scientific theories, but they are most definitely not proven or even sensible.”

    I’m absolutely cast iron certain he didn’t say it, Ben. Parnia only discusses the function of the brain now when he’s talking about patient outcomes and recovery (of faculties).

    When he’s discussing these experiences, he makes it very clear that the brain is out of the equation after a few seconds. That’s why him and Fenwick (as you know of course) decided to restrict the study of NDE to those that occur (apparently) during cardiac arrest.

    Nevertheless, there’s a whole of bunch of others who think they are doing great research by continuing to talk about NDE’s and functioning brains which is absolutely pointless.

    It doesn’t mean that someone’s NDE that occurred when their brain WAS functioning is worthless or meaningless, it just means that without eliminating the brain we can never reach the bar which science has set (a high bar) to ‘prove’ that NDE’s don’t happen within the brain.


  4. Pardon the pun, but this article is much more “cerebral” than the Express, even though it is the twin Ugly sister, the Mail. Almost reads like something from NewScientist. Again Parnia is quoted, but there is nothing new in the citations on his home page at Langone relevant to NDEs. Lots of recycling going on at the moment.


    • Thanks, Ben. It’s the same article that featured in the express or I’m pretty certain it is.

      The journalists have mixed up Parnia’s work (again) and the research of a German neurologist who works with brain damaged patients. This guy, Dr Jens Dreier I believe is merely trying to add to the current understandings of brain pathology (state) after illness or accident so that doctors can determine more accurately if someone is irretrievably dead or absolutely permanently dead etc (which always seems not quite possible to determine )

      If I have it right, their ‘probes’ into the brains of brain dead (no brainstem functioning) patients have been used to record ‘activity’ for several minutes after life support has been disconnected (stoppage of the heart etc) The brain cells in people who are brain dead do still function in some way to a lesser degree (apparently) but that doesn’t mean the brain is functioning normally or is capable of consciousness or perception etc. It just means that the cells are dying (going to burst) and if energy is not provided (blood flow) they will disintegrate (as I understand it but I’m not a doctor or an expert)

      This however has nothing to do with the reports of the consciousness of patients floating around the ICU, and any Aware target “hits” discovered by Parnia will have been achieved on something inaccessible even to the fully functioning brains of the crash teams. So my point is (finally) …why do journalists keep trying to provoke a discussion about something that doesn’t warrant any ?


  5. Alan on said:

    I sometimes wonder we’re in some Great Mind for all this to be true. It manifests matter and so much more. I’ve been watching the film Solaris (the one with George Clooney) and when he dies he gets absorbed by the planet Solaris and meets his dead wife again. They live on as in his previous life. I think in the book the planet is thought by some scientists to be like an embryonic God, tentative, making mistakes.
    But we’re in this ??? – whatever Reality. So we too go on in some form.


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