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Death-Related Experiences
Record Type: Review   ID: 766

Closer to the Light: Learning From Children's Near-Death Experiences.

Morse, Melvin, & Perry, Paul

 The author is a pediatrician who was introduced to the near-death experience by one of his patients who had one. Intrigued, Morse decided to act on the dictum that "children don't lie," and to go against his medical training, which taught that such experiences do not happen. He wanted to know if children's NDEs differed from those of adults? Whether a specific area of the brain is associated with NDEs? Does one need to be near death to have an NDE? Childhood NDEs still affect the NDEr as an adult? He went to the Children's Hospital in Seattle to do research on an anticancer drug but was encouraged to conduct NDE research as well. He compared 121 children who were critically ill with 12 who probably would have died of cardiac arrest if it had not been for modern medical care. No one in the control group had had an NDE whereas most of those in the experimental group had experienced one of the major characteristics of an NDE. He recounts all of their stories. As a result of his research, Morse advocates combining spirituality with medicine. In another piece of research he identified the Sylvian fissures in the right temporal lobe as the seat of the NDE. He also deals with the experience of light in the NDE and the long-term transformational effects they engender. He expresses amazement that some seemingly fragmentary experiences can give rise to such major changes in the experient's life. He reports on reinterviews with the original patients 8 years later and found them to be leading remarkable lives. He observes that his life had been transformed as a result of his research. He closes with a list of possible subjects to investigate in future NDE research.
Publisher Information:New York: Villard Books, 1990. 206p. Bibl: 195-200, 201-206
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