A recent Irish study of deathbed visions adds more cases to the database. One interesting element of the study is a comparison of patients who were heavily medicated and/or suffering a fever with those who weren't.
One common sense explanation may be that the visions are drug- or fever-induced hallucinations. But 68 per cent of respondents agreed, or strongly agreed, that DBE have different qualities from such hallucinations.
[Researcher Una] MacConville says there appears to be a difference in the quality of the visions: they appear with greater clarity, and they are experienced as meaningful, with significant associations, rather than random, as they would be in drug-induced cases.
An earlier study also indicated that patients experiencing deathbed phenomena are usually calm and composed. In contrast, drug- or fever-induced hallucinations can be disturbing and frightening, with other symptoms of drug-induced toxicity and high temperature present as well.
It's good to see that empirical investigations into this topic are continuing.
The study was brought to my attention by Chris Carter, author of Science and the Near-Death Experience, which I reviewed here. The book is available in both print and Kindle editions. Chris is also one of the main contributors to the newly released Debating Psychic Experiences,which I hope to review next month.