Thanks to SeanD for spotting this. Despite googling for Parnia every day, I still find I miss things! Also, apologies for the long time between posts but we recently bought a new home and it has needed a complete renovation which has sucked up all my time. What a waste of life choosing shower suites, flooring and kitchens is when there are much deeper things to be contemplating! Anyway, below is a link to a radio discussion that occurred in the past week or so in Australia which featured a couple of experiencers and Dr Sam Parnia.
Dr Parnia discusses two studies. Firstly he mentions AWARE I which, he once again asserts, validates NDEs. The second study he mentions is one that he has been undertaking the past couple of years as part of his “Survivorship & Psychological Wellbeing After Cardiac Arrest” research program (link to description of program). From the interview this appears to be a descriptive study that assesses various aspects of post CA experience, with NDEs being just one factor. Importantly, it is has been conducted across a number of different countries which include different cultural and religious influences. Information about the number and type of NDEs reported from non-Western countries has been poor in the past, and it looks like Dr Parnia is doing his best to address this gap in the data.
The two pieces of information that he shares with us are as follows:
- 11% of people who survive CA have an NDE. This is almost identical to reports from previous studies, however, as I point out in my book this most likely reflects the age group of the majority of people who have experienced CAs, which tends to be people who are much older. It is very likely that Sam will get enough data to create a statistical analysis of changes in rate of NDE reports with age. As I point out in my book (link to book), data to date suggests that the younger the age of the experiencer, the higher the chance of recalling an NDE, and changes in memory function alone would not account for the large differences observed. Anyway…think I’ve banged that drum enough! I will rewrite that section of my book including other suggestions for causes from contributors to this blog. He makes a bit of a blooper when he says the fact that 11% of people have NDEs means that 850 million people have had NDEs. That might be true if the entire population of planet earth had experienced a CA, but that is not the case.
- He differentiates NDEs from semi conscious recollections. He describes in particular how some patients who wake up and try to pull ventilators out are forcibly restrained by doctors. They then recount these experiences as being attacked by demons. He makes the suggestion that this may account for the hellish NDEs that are sometimes reported. I think Howard Storm might have something to say about that!
It is very important that Dr Parnia is doing this kind of qualitative research alongside the AWARE II and hypothermic studies since it really closes the loop on our understanding. When (not if) he produces the validated OBE hits that prove NDEs are real, he will be able to also provide better information about the nature of those experiences than may have been produced before. He has a scientific approach to this that will hopefully create a more consistent understanding of what is reported in NDEs.
It has to be said, he really is the world leader in this field now, and may one day be regarded in the same light as past heroes of science and medicine who made discoveries that forever changed our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. That of course will rely on him producing the vital smoking gun evidence of scientifically validated OBEs.