Saturday, October 04, 2008

Near-Death Experiences

There's an article about research into 'out-of-body' experiences in yesterday's Hindu (note: the online edition is a truncated version of the print article). I have been fascinated with NDE for quite some time, and so I was looking forward to knowing whether there is any conclusive evidence one way or the other. Sure enough, there is mention of an objective method to collect evidence (emphasis mine):
I wanted to investigate if these experiences could be attributed to the drugs that we gave the patients, to abnormal levels of oxygen or carbon dioxide in the blood and was there a way of verifying the out-of-body component? So I hid symbols on top of cardiac monitors at each patient's bedside which could only be viewed from an out of body perspective.
That sounds promising; reading on:
In June 2008 my book, an academic monograph, "The Near-Death Experiences of Hospitalized Intensive Care Patients: A Five Year Clinical Study" was published by The Edwin Mellen Press. The reason that I chose to publish an academic book is because I believe these experiences need to be taken seriously.
The article then goes into the details of the study, its purported benefits, and so on, but there is no mention of whether any evidence supporting these experiences was found.

Methinks there's no conclusive evidence; or, it's a "buy my book to find out all about it" ploy. Also, what the heck is an academic book? Has it been peer-reviewed like an academic paper?