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Lancet. 1990 Nov 10;336(8724):1175-7.

Features of "near-death experience" in relation to whether or not patients were near death.

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Division of Personality Studies, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville 22908.


The medical records of 58 patients, most of whom believed they were near death during an illness or after an injury and all of whom later remembered unusual experiences occurring at the time, were examined. 28 patients were judged to have been so close to death that they would have died without medical intervention; the other 30 patients were not in danger of dying although most of them thought they were. Patients of both groups reported closely similar experiences but patients who really were close to death were more likely than those who were not to report an enhanced perception of light and enhanced cognitive powers. The claim of enhancement of cognitive functions despite the likelihood that brain function had probably become disturbed and possibly diminished, deserves further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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