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Oh god, Michael. I've had the same unfortunate experience of having a nurse draw blood who was poor at her job. She dug into my arm just like you described. I didn't quite faint, but I did become nauseous and came close to passing out.

I was with a friend once while she was having blood drawn and she passed out but did not experience anything like an NDE.

Debating a materialist about an NDE is futile at best.

Try to look from their point of view they cannot admit to one even one paranormal phenomena or their whole system of cherished beliefs comes crashing down.

At last resort when push comes to shove they will not respond to one aspect of the phenomena, which they do on TV all the time or they will just claim that person is not telling the truth or has succumbed to wishful thinking.

Materialism and religious fundamentalism are two sides of the same coin and neither side has come to realize how alike they are in their view of phenomena.

I used to be a meat cutter about 36 years ago. One time I was cutting up a box of chickens and I cut the top off the knuckle on my right index finger. The blood was just pumping out. When I saw it I instantly passed out. It was a very weird sensation, like one second you're here and next... nothing. I was only out for a second or two before I was taken to a clinic and they bandaged up my finger and gave me a tetanus shot. During that time I was "out" I don't remember anything. I can't even say there was blackness.

Well, as an NDEr, I can tell you this... I've fainted when having blood taken and did not experience anything remotely like an NDE in the process.

Fascinating story and comparison, Michael! Thank you for posting it.

From the post,
"Instead of removing the needle and trying again, she kept the needle lodged in my harm…"
At first I thought, 'typo'. But now I think, 'brilliant!'

When I worked in the hospital, I was often used to help train nurses in the art of sticking people (I have good veins for this apparently). A botched needled job does hurt- no doubt.

I used CPR to resuscitate the people who have told me about their NDE's. So I would agree that there could be blood flow to the brain (that was the point). However, I would say that extremely clear vision and thought were part of the experience.

I think you make an excellent point here.

"kept the needle lodged in my harm…"

Oops. I'll have to fix that. Though it does have a rather Joycean quality ...

I dictated the post using Dragon Naturally Speaking. The program works well, but it does sometimes make mistakes, and I obviously didn't catch that one.

I actually passed out at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Something) when I was joining the Marines when a very similar thing happened. How's that for irony? :)

I agree with the basic sentiment of your post.

From memory(What happens when we die-Sam Parnia) When reperfusion takes place(ie forcing blood back up into the brain) no greater than 30% flow can be achieved. More importantly, the brain cells do not recover straight away as the glucose needed to feed them is restricted(kept out) by the action of chemicals released by the dying brain. Those levels of blood flow are not compatible with brain cell electrical activity.
I am not a doctor but the information is in the public domain.
Common sense alone tells you that 30% blood flow to the brain is not going to produce clearer consciousness than normal blood flow.
It's a desperate attempt(By Woerlee)but alas for him, it doesn't hang together.

"Materialism and religious fundamentalism are two sides of the same coin..."

Truer words were never offered, William. Persuading the Cardinals of Scientism to look honestly at the massive evidence contradicting their limited viewpoint is exactly equivalent to Galileo's exercise in frustration with the Catholic hierarchy and their inquisition, though his fate was an improvement over Giordano Bruno's. Sandy puts the exclamation point on Michael's phlebotomy ordeal: comparing the effects of an NDE with those of hypoperfusion seems like comparing apples and Martian pomegranates.

All naturalistic explanations hit a brick wall when it comes to veridical perception in clinically-dead patients.

And by "clinically-dead" I don't mean just a flat-lined EEG but also the absence of brain-stem activity as evidenced by the inability to induce the usual range of brain-stem reflexes.

Namely, the brain-stem (lower brain) is the last part of the dying brain to go, the cortex (upper brain) being the first. And since the cortex is where all cognitive processing occurs, it stands to reason that if the brain-stem is offline then the cortex is verifiably kaput and thus incapable of rendering hallucinations or whatever.

Anyway, if anybody is interested in reading a varied selection of academic peer-review NDE literature I've uploaded about 30 or so papers, mostly ones submitted to the Journal of Near-Death Studies but also a few published in the Lancet as well.

Feel free to share the link around.

NDE Research

I had bad experiences when blood was drawn from my arm. Then I ran into a lab where it was taken from the back of my hand. Much better! Since then, I've always successfully asked that it be done that way. I urge others to make the same request -- and spread the word.

Interesting, Roger. I've never been offered that option. Maybe I'll ask about it.

Markus, thanks for the link. Regarding the brainstem argument, are there any NDEs other than Pam Reynolds' in which brainstem activity was monitored?

Michael, brain-stem (in)activity is easily gauged by attempting to trigger a series of basic reflex actions, which as you probably know is standard ER protocol and is performed by default on patients receiving emergency medical attention, Dr Lommel points this out:

"You can prove that the brain stem is no longer functioning because it regulates our basic reflexes, such as the pupil response and swallowing reflex, which no longer respond. So you can easily stick a tube down someone's throat. The respiratory centre also shuts down. If the individual is not reanimated within five to 10 minutes, their brain cells are irreversibly damaged."

Here is more Lommel commentary on this aspect:

".....The fact that in a cardiac arrest loss of cortical function precedes the rapid loss of brainstem activity lends further support to this view."

"From studies of induced cardiac arrest we know that in our Dutch prospective study of patients who survived cardiac arrest (Van Lommel et al., 2001), as well as in the American (Greyson, 2003) and English study (Parnia et al., 2001), not only total lack of electrical activity of the cortex must have been the only possibility, but also the abolition of brain-stem activity."

"However, patients with an NDE can report a clear consciousness. And because of the occasional and verifiable out-of-body experiences, like the one involving the dentures in our study, we know that the NDE must happen during the period of unconsciousness, and not in the first or last seconds of cardiac arrest. So we have to come to the surprising conclusion that during cardiac arrest NDE is experienced during a transient functional loss of all functions of the cortex and of the brainstem"

"What you see when you induce cardiac arrest is that within one second the blood flow to the brain is zero centimeters per second. Within two seconds, it stops totally. After an average of 6.54 seconds, the first ischemic changes show on the EEG, with attenuation of the waves. After 10 to 20 seconds, you have a flat- line EEG, which means the electrical activity of the cortex is gone. The brain stem reflexes- such as the gag reflex and whether the pupils stay dilated - and the medulla oblongata - where the center of breathing is - stops. So that's the functional loss of your total brain. Well, with a heart attack, if it occurs on the coronary care unit, it takes between 60 and 120 seconds before circulation is restored. If it occurs on the general ward, it takes two to five minutes. If it occurs in the street, it usually exceeds five to 10 minutes, and 90 percent of those people will die."

Prof. Peter Fenwick reports the same of his own research:

"Let's look at the physiological state of the brain and body at the time of reported NDEs. No detectable cardiac output, no respiratory output - they certainly weren't breathing. Neither did they have any brain stem reflexes - in other words they was no activity whatsoever in the brain."

"The first point is that signs of cardiac arrest are the same as clinical death. There is no detectable cardiac output, no respiratory effort, and brainstem reflexes are absent. If you are in this state and I put a tube down your throat, you will not cough. You will have dilated pupils. Your blood pressure has fallen to zero. You are, in fact, clinically dead. Even if I start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), I cannot get your blood pressure any higher than 30 millimetres of mercury, and this is not going to produce an adequate blood flow to your brain."

"When you are fully unconscious, you show the signs of clinical death which is no respiration, no cardiac output, fully dilated pupils showing that your brain stem is not functioning and that is the clinical criteria of death."

Leading NDE researcher Dr Sam Parnia says the same in one of the papers I just uploaded:

".....This is termed the delayed hypoperfusion phase and is thought to occur due to a disturbed coupling between brain function, metabolism and blood flow [31]. Clinically, these observations are supported by the loss of brainstem reflexes such as the gag reflex that indicate a loss of brainstem function, which normally activates the cortical areas via the thalamus."

"As seen these experiences appear to be occurring at a time when global cerebral function can at best be described as severely impaired, and at worse non-functional."

Also worth pointing out, from the same paper:

"An alternative explanation is that the experiences reported from cardiac arrest, may actually be arising at a time when consciousness is either being lost, or regained, rather than from the actual cardiac arrest period itself. Any cerebral insult leads to a period of both anterograde and retrograde amnesia In fact memory is a very sensitive indicator of brain injury and the length of amnesia before and after unconsciousness is a way of determining the severity of the injury. Therefore, events that occur just prior to or just after the loss of consciousness would not be expected to be recalled. At any rate recovery following a cerebral insult is confusional and cerebral function as measured by EEG has in many cases been
shown not to return until many tens of minutes or even a few hours after successful resuscitation."

Thanks for that info, Markus. Very interesting.

I had to use WinZip to extract the files you put online; with my usual extraction tool I was getting a "does not appear to be part of a valid archive" error message. If others have the same problem, WinZip can be downloaded on a free trial basis from this site:

The latest NDE "news":

The learned folks over at Skynews say that the Near Death Exp. is the result of...."carbon dioxide"
Gosh who knew?

""""""Near death experiences could be caused by something as mundane as raised levels of carbon dioxide, scientists suggest.People who claim to have felt such experiences describe them as life flashing before their eyes, feelings of peace and joy and supernatural encounters.

An "NDE" is usually an experience described by someone who has been declared clinically dead or appears very close to death.

Improved resuscitation rates mean more NDEs are being reported but the causes for them are not known.

Many scientists put them down to hallucinations while psychics or religious groups are more likely to consider them as evidence of an afterlife.

Well that settles that....:)

Oh crud... -sorry Ryan-
I didnt click your link

same story

I am the "Learned one"

sigh...been huffing to much "Carbon Dioxide"

Hey Markus

do you have another link. It won't work on my computer.

Sure. Just make sure you're allowing cookies and Javascript for the download site, that usually sorts out any issues.

Alternate link

So, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, should give you an NDE.
I'll ask Fag-ash Lill down the road if she's ever left her body and observed it from the corner of the room while taking a deep draw on a woodbine.....

Speaking of NDE's, I came across an article claiming NDE's are caused by high levels of Carbon Dioxide. Here is the link:

What does everyone think?

It may be that the patients who died and had an NDE were 'out' for longer than the patients who didn't have an NDE and therefore built up slightly bigger concentations of CO'2 in their blood.

I don't think it means anything very significant. Of course, there is the Meduna mixture -carbon-dioxide therapy incident in which a patient reported a nde-like episode...but very large amounts of Co'2 in the blood can be fatal, I believe. So that's not surprising. Of course I'm willing to be corrected if anybody knows better.

What strikes me is the eyes of mainsteam science, ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING is better than what the people who have the experience believe it to be.
Now I believe I'm going to the pub.

There might be a biochemical reason for falling in love too... but that hardly takes away from the mystery of it all.

“There might be a biochemical reason for falling in love too...”

Or is it the other way around that the biochemical is affected by our falling in love.

What would the journey of the soul be without these mysteries? What would life be like without the mysteries of life? Without our imperfections would we even exist? Life is one big barrel of questions with most thinking they have the answers.

Off topic did anyone see the documentary on Buddhism last night on public television? A couple of comments stood out for me; one from the Dalai Lama on the need for desire and from an commentator on the three poisons in life.

Well said, Sandy, William. Yes, scientists (some, anyway) might try to explain away every last little thing as "only" biological, chemical ... but does that make the event less real? Is love less real, whatever its cause? Why should the involvment of the physical, or rather, earthly body mean that an event does not also involve the soul? For me, they are all part of US, we are both, and naturally they are intimately interdependent.

Louise, scientists are people too. Unfortunately some of them have to be hit by a truck before they can see the bigger picture. Not that I would know anything about that.


The way I look at it, there is no aspect of our experiences and emotions that can't be explained in terms of their neurological correlates. It's the subjective experience itself that remains completely precious and ineffable.

“The way I look at it, there is no aspect of our experiences and emotions that can't be explained in terms of their neurological correlates.”

Love compassion and intelligence are not emotions contrary to what the world teaches. Love compassion and divine intelligence do indeed affect emotions depending on our level of awareness of reality.

Very seldom is reality discussed in any circle rather it be religious or otherwise. The materialist and the religious alike fail to see and most often even seek the underlying reality of phenomena.

Some here may find this link interesting she actually mentions qualitative data. Will wonders ever cease?

The materialists refuse to accept qualitative data when it comes to paranormal phenomena. What is that?

"Louise, scientists are people too. Unfortunately some of them have to be hit by a truck before they can see the bigger picture. Not that I would know anything about that."

LOL Sandy!

In Parnia's pilot study there was no significant difference in co'2 levels in either the control or the study group.
Chemical reactions in the brain can only be proposed as an explanation for NDE if you ignore most the data.

"but very large amounts of Co'2 in the blood can be fatal, I believe. So that's not surprising." -Trev

The film Apollo 13 showed that over 8% CO2 in the air is fatal (if I remember correctly).

sigh...been huffing to much "Carbon Dioxide"-Marty

So is anyone suggesting that we need to stop the Chinese building a coal fired power station every week to stop us all getting high on NDEs?

off topic but apposite - from Sky News today:

"A three-year-old boy brought back from the dead after his heart stopped beating for three hours has told how he saw his great-grandmother in Heaven.

"The young boy has told of a heavenly experience while being clinically dead.
The youngster - Paul - claimed he met his relative and she sent him back to Earth.

"Paul was playing on his own when he fell into a lake near his grandparents' house in the town of Lychen, north of Berlin, Germany. The child's grandfather later found him lifeless in the water. Paul was quickly dragged to the shore but the youngster remained unconscious.

"His father, who had had first aid training in the past, tried to resuscitate his son by giving him mouth to mouth and heart massage. A helicopter took him to Helios hospital in Buch and doctors also tried to resuscitate him but he was unresponsive.

"They were about to stop because the boy had been clinically dead for three hours and 18 minutes - but then a miracle happened.

"The team managed to get his heart beating again, defying the laws of medicine.

"The water in the lake was cold and the boy's core temperature was just 28C - it should normally be 37C. If the temperature had been higher, the team would have stopped trying to resuscitate after 40 minutes because the boy would definitely have been brain dead.

"Cold temperatures means the metabolism slows so body can survive with little oxygen.

"Professor of Paediatrics, Lothar Schweigerer, is from the Helios hospital in Buch said "My doctors were close to saying 'we can do no more' after two hours of thorax compression because the chances of survival had gone and the little lad must have been brain dead. But then suddenly his heart started to beat again ... it was a fantastic miracle. I've been doing this job for 30 years and have never seen anything like this. It goes to show the human body is a very resilient organism and you should never give up. The boy is happy and healthy. It's a wonderful thing.

"He told daily newspaper Bild: "Paul said to his parents, 'I was with Oma (granny) Emmi in Heaven. She told me to go back really quickly.'"

That's a great story, Zerdini. Thanks.

got a link Z

Kris: try here:

Lovely story, Zerdini!


Well this kid had a NDE.

However how can a three year old brain comprehend dying enough for a dying brain explanation to remotely work in this case?

It's the co'2 in the water. :)

I wrote a novel about what I think happens when you die. It’s entitled One Small Part of Heaven, available at It tells of a spiritual world and a natural world. It’s about some “good” people and some “bad” people. Actually, it appears that the good people simply enjoy what is there for them in the spiritual world, just as they had done in the natural world, and the “bad” people do not. In fact the “good” people enjoy whatever they desire in the spiritual world. Everything is there. And everything is exactly as it appears to be: a beautiful person is beautiful inside; a government official is worthy of his or her post, a boss or a leader is qualified to be a boss or a leader. In the natural world things aren’t always as they appear. In the natural world you can deceive yourself into believing, for example, that you deserve the advantage you were born into—physical beauty, good health, position—and you can almost enjoy it. In the spiritual world you cannot. In order for you to enjoy beauty, you have to be beautiful. If you are to be a leader of men it will be because you should be leading them. You end up being what you actually are. In the natural world you learn and develop; in the spiritual world you live and progress.

What happens when you die is far stranger than fiction!

Ah I see

CO'2 has magic powers.

How can I be so blind..

It's a proven fact that too much H20 can caused NDEs.

For any interested readers, there is a very interesting critique(Skeptiko) of Gerry Woerlee's response(no 98) to Jeff Long's first interview.
The author is Keith Wood and he reveals that many of Woerlee's proposals are inaccurate/incorrect.
Which I also believe of course.

I was looking around the net, and came across a site - Maryland Iands ie Maryland International association (of) near death studies.
Here you can watch many eighties, nineties and early 'noughties' television programmes on Nde's. There all worth a look, my own favourite is the MS/NBC special- Back from the dead-April- 2001-Spetzler-clicking nodules etc being interviewed)and the Phil Donahue show. I've posted anonymously because I don't want to get into trouble...even though I can't see there being a problem. The Maryland IANDS website is open to all. Regards.
Just type in Maryland Iands...and then NDE movies and TV videos.

Oh my, this is just pathetic ...

"Carbon dioxide may explain 'near death experiences'"

"ScienceDaily (Apr. 7, 2010) — Near death experiences (NDEs), reported to include sensations such as life flashing before the eyes, feelings of peace and joy, and apparent encounters with mystical entities, may be caused by raised levels of carbon dioxide in the blood. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care investigated the unexplained events in 52 cardiac arrest patients."

Yes, the researchers behind that study do seem to be getting a little bit ahead of themselves.

The presence of raised CO2 levels might be an important first step in discovering a physiological cause of the NDE, or it might just be some sort of correlation, but it's obviously not nearly the only factor involved in something as complex as NDEs.

I wonder if raised CO2 levels can explain the connection between NDEs and the holographic universe theory and quantum physics?

"I literally had the feeling that I was everywhere in the universe simultaneously.
- excerpt from Mark Horton's NDE,

Trev wrote, "... there is a very interesting critique(Skeptiko) of Gerry Woerlee's response(no 98) to Jeff Long's first interview. The author is Keith Wood ..."

Can you provide a link or, if not, perhaps indicate where you found this on the site? I scrolled through the comments but didn't see any by Keith Wood. I also searched the forum but found nothing.

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