Top Ten NDE Myths

#1
Okay, I don't know if there are 10 myths, or if there's any particular order...just wanted a catchy title. :)

I started this thread to talk about some of the persistent ideas people have about the content of auditory and visual experiences some people have around the time of medical crises, some of which have been labelled "NDE". Because elements of the experiences which may have something to say about transcendence or survival of consciousness have been selected post hoc for discussion, it may give the impression that these are the only elements which take place. Some people even call elements which don't relate to the NDE categories "anomalous" and regard them as rare. However, if you look at non-selected samples of these experiences, you discover that the majority are not of the NDE-type. Most published research on non-selected samples confirms that the number of experiences which fit the NDE label are the minority. But most do not provide details of all experiences. Penny Sartori is an exception and published this information in book form, so I am using the details provided in her book.

So Myth number 1 is:

NDEers meet dead family/friends.

Of the 16 NDEers in Sartori's study, 7 met people who were not dead friends or family. Some were family members who were alive (3 examples) and some were people or figures who were unknown to the subject. And this doesn't include the numerous auditory and visual experiences which included living hospital personnel.

Of the people whose auditory and visual experiences didn't qualify for the NDE label, many people known and unknown who were alive were met (far too many to enumerate).

Linda
 
#2
Myth number 2 is:

NDE/OBE experiences are veridical.

There are many examples of descriptions of auditory and visual experiences which are wrong. Of the 16 patients in Sartori's study, 6 saw their body from an OBE perspective. Most just gave a few details (the nurse suctioned my mouth or a nurse and doctor were seen at the bedside). Five out of six included details which were wrong, or all the details were wrong.

Examples:

Patient 6 saw himself as clothed and without any tubes (he was unclothed and was undergoing various interventions involving tubes).
Patient 10 saw a physician who was not there, described the number and colour of the telephones at the desk incorrectly.
Patient 12 saw the nurses around him as people from his past.
Patient 14 saw the room she was in as a room from her old house (not the room/house she was actually in).
Patient 16 saw a brooch pinned to her gown during the operation.

Of the details which were accurate, most were generally non-specific and already known to the patient.

Linda
 
#10
NDEers meet dead family/friends.
What is this a myth? What this is false? If so, then clearly that is not a myth, because there NDEs where the subject meets with dead family / friends. Does that mean it is not universally true? So it is a myth, but all research on NDEs I know indicate that the percentage of encounters with living people is small:

“Only 4 percent of the NDEers in the study met beings who were still alive at the time of the NDE.”(Jeffrey Long, Evidence of the Afterlife).

NDE/OBE experiences are veridical.
Again, that's not a myth because there NDEs / OBEs with veridical content, no one has claimed that all NDEs / OBEs are entirely veridical, but there NDEs / OBEs whose content is veridical and was not under the scope of the known senses.
 
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#11
3. NDEs are hallucinations due to oxygen deprivation.
As far as I know, this idea hasn't been investigated, one way or the other. I was hoping there would be some information in the AWARE study, but the presented abstract on the cerebral oximetry didn't look promising.

Linda
 
#12
4. NDE patients are not actually dead, their highly organised visions and total recall are created by deep brain activity that isn't reliant on cardiovascular networks.
Well, they're not dead yet, anyway. :)

What does "total recall" mean? The research by Chawla and Borjigin may be relevant to the issue of organized deep brain activity that isn't reliant on cardiovascular networks. Too early to tell one way or the other.

Linda
 
#14
6. NDEs are a modern phenomenon.
I'm not sure that's a myth, as we have old stories which sound like NDEs. Modern resuscitation methods give us more opportunity to hear about NDEs (more people brought back from these medical crises and better preservation of brain function).
 
#16
What is this a myth? What this is false? If so, then clearly that is not a myth, because there NDEs where the subject
meets with dead family / friends. Does that mean it is not universally true? So it is a myth, but all research on NDEs I know indicate that the percentage of encounters with living people is small:

“Only 4 percent of the NDEers in the study met beings who were still alive at the time of the NDE.”(Jeffrey Long, Evidence of the Afterlife).
That's a good point. Let's say "NDEers mostly meet dead family/friends".

That shows the difference between using selected and unselected samples. Selected samples give the appearance that meeting beings who are alive is rare.

Again, that's not a myth because there NDEs / OBEs with veridical content, no one has claimed that all NDEs / OBEs are entirely veridical, but there NDEs / OBEs whose content is veridical and was not under the scope of the known senses.
Not any which are documented.

Some people have claimed that they are entirely veridical. Many claim that they are mostly veridical.

Linda
 
#17
As far as I know, this idea hasn't been investigated, one way or the other. I was hoping there would be some information in the AWARE study, but the presented abstract on the cerebral oximetry didn't look promising.

Linda
Not by NDE researchers specifically, but if I recall correctly, studies in oxygen deprivation for different reasons, which have been cited as "proof" that NDEs are caused by lack of oxygen by the lazier skeptics, found that the subjects would sometimes report seeing something akin to a light at the end of a tunnel. Nothing that came close to a full-blown NDE.
 
#18
Not by NDE researchers specifically, but if I recall correctly, studies in oxygen deprivation for different reasons, which have been cited as "proof" that NDEs are caused by lack of oxygen by the lazier skeptics, found that the subjects would sometimes report seeing something akin to a light at the end of a tunnel. Nothing that came close to a full-blown NDE.
I think the claim goes, "various physiologic insults lead to elements which are the same or similar to NDE elements, therefore, the NDE may be (is?) due to various physiologic insults, including the similarity between tunnel effects in hypoxia and tunnel effects in NDEs". Does that sound about right?

Linda
 
#19
Myth number 2 is: NDE/OBE experiences are veridical.

Patient 6 saw himself as clothed and without any tubes (he was unclothed and was undergoing various interventions involving tubes).
It's worth pointing out that of the 16 patients in Penny's study who are reported to have had an NDE, the subset of 5 example patients which you selected only contained one patient who's NDE was associated with cardiac arrest (Patient 6), and it's clear - if you read the full interview transcripts - that Patient 6 never had an NDE OBE.

I'll give you 3 out of 10... must try harder... Lol... with the suggestion that if you intend to rely on the uniqueness of Penny's study to support your statements, because - in your words "...most do not provide details of all experiences. Penny Sartori is an exception..." then perhaps you should actually read the the details, as you claim to have done "...I am using the details provided in her book...".
 
#20
It's worth pointing out that of the 16 patients in Penny's study who are reported to have had an NDE, the subset of 5 example patients which you selected only contained one patient who's NDE was associated with cardiac arrest (Patient 6),...
So what? Or is that another myth ("it doesn't count if it's not associated with cardiac arrest")?

...and it's clear - if you read the full interview transcripts - that Patient 6 never had an NDE OBE.
In the transcripts, the patient states:

"I was that person but I was also able to see that person externally so I don't know how that lot works. You know, watching a video later perhaps."

And Penny Sartori characterizes his experience as "a NDE with an OBE element" (page 160), so maybe take it up with her.

Linda
 
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