After several years of work, a major study into what patients experience when their hearts have stopped beating has been published. Dr Sam Parnia, a research fellow at Southampton University, led the study, which 'spent four years examining more than 2,000 people who suffered cardiac arrests at 15 hospitals in the UK, US and Austria'. Here is a quote from the article in the Telegraph newspaper:
They found that nearly 40 per cent of people who survived described some kind of ‘awareness’ during the time when they were clinically dead before their hearts were restarted. One man even recalled leaving his body entirely and watching his resuscitation from the corner of the room. Despite being unconscious and ‘dead’ for three minutes, the 57-year-old social worker from Southampton, recounted the actions of the nursing staff in detail and described the sound of the machines.
Dr Parnia's study confirms other studies conducted under clinical conditions, in particular the work of Dr Pim Van Lommel in the Netherlands. Lommel has written a compelling book called Consciousness Beyond Life about his clinical work studying the experiences of patients whose bodies physically die on the operating table but who are then brought back to life.
The evidence now appears to be conclusive. When someone physically dies on an operating table, in essence when their heart stops, their brain has about twenty seconds worth of oxygen. After that, the brain is unable to function. According to the current orthodox view of consciousness, the subject can no longer think as the brain can no longer work. And yet Dr Parnia's study and Dr Van Lommel's before it, and other associated studies, clearly show that the mind does function. Subjects who physically die and are then revived are found to have been fully aware of what was going on during the several minutes that their bodies were dead. In some cases, they even give detailed descriptions of what happened in the room while they were physically dead which tally with what actually happened.
Thanks to this exhaustive and thorough study, and all the studies before it, the materialist view that the functioning brain creates the conscious mind can now be regarded as an invalid idea. There is already a body of evidence showing that people can function as intelligent adults while missing major parts of their brain, as reported in this recent New Scientist article. People can even function as conscious adults when their brains aren't even electrically active, such as in the strange case of Cotard's syndrome, where the subject thinks they are dead. Parnia's report, along with Van Lommel's and others, supplies the thorough scientific evidence that negates the 'functioning brain creates the mind' idea. As Richard Feynmann famously stated: A theory may be popular and it might even be endorsed by famous scientists but if the evidence negates it, then that theory must be thrown out. Throw out the materialist view of the mind!