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Tags pam reynolds , near death experience

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Old 19th August 2003, 03:34 PM   #361
Titus Rivas
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Data and theory

Quote:
Current memory models says "no". NDE says"yes". But I'm hardly an expert on the neurological basis for memory, so you may be correct that there is no 'clear' conflict here.
You say it, Loki, the memory models which is not the same as data on memory. One thing is the data, another one is its interpretation.

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Old 19th August 2003, 03:35 PM   #362
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TR: Well, I certainly hope you haven't taken my doubts too personally

SG: Certainly not personally.

TR: Anyway, even if you're (indisputably) right about this, the point remains whether her EEG would have been (nearly) flat during the procedure or not. Pam Reynolds, at least as I have understood her thus far, claims that it was. Could there be a reconciliation between your account and this Near-Death state she claims she was in at the time?

SG: If the drainage of blood from her head was the cause of the flat-lined EEG, then that would NOT yet have happened when the groin procedure was taking place. Sabom knows this, the neurosurgeon knows this and any lst year surgical resident who has ever seen a pump case or an assisted circulation case knows this.

The hook up to the heart/lung machine was a precondition and a necessary component of the procedure to drain the blood from her head. The blood was allowed to drain out while she was on the pump but she couldnt have been on the pump without first establishing the outfow (femoral artery) and inflow (femoral vein)
tracts. (e.g. groin procedure).

It is, however, also evident that she was "brain-dead" for all intents and purposes when the saw was used so this is not in dispute. The account of the groin procedure as given by her
based on its actual ocurrence before she was brain dead and/or
the presence of the stiched up hole in her groin after she woke up. I also dispute the fact that she was clinically dead when mention was made of her small veins. This would have been mentioned when IVs were being placed and these would be placed in advance.

Anoxia is an imprecise term as used here. Anoxia literally means Zero or No Oxygen. A more correct term would be hypoxia which means decreased oxygen. Anybody whose oxygen saturation falls to zero or whose arterial PO2 falls to zero ("anoxia") will have tissue death in the regions affected or death if widespread (e.g. brain death if occuring in the brain --- cooling the patient down protects against this) There are also many types of hypoxia
depending on cause and locus. I agree with vanLommel and anyone else who says "anoxia" (eg hypoxia) cannot be the cause of hallucinations resembling NDEs. Hypoxemic patients demonstrate confusion, memory loss and and an absence of lucid or rational thought. It is a debiltating condition the syptoms of which are in contravention to the accounts of ND Experiencers.
In addition many NDE accounts occur in persons who were clinically well oxygenated as documented by arterial blood gas
analysis. The oxygen status of the patient is a red herring.



TR: Please let's forget about the distorted memory (stitches) theory, by the way. Some things are too hard to swallow even for a non-debunker like myself

SG: I would like to but if I woke up from brain surgery with a pain in my groin, a dressing in place and stitches needing inspection daily, it would be kinda hard to overlook the fact that the surgical team did something to me down there in addition to sawing open my head which I knew they were going to do.
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Old 19th August 2003, 03:40 PM   #363
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Another cause of EEG?

Quote:
f the draimage of blood from her head was the cause of the flat-lined EEG, then that would NOT yet have happened when the groin procedure was taking place. Sabom knows this, the neurosurgeon knows this and any lst year surgical resident who has ever seen a pump case or an assisted circulation case knows this.
Wouldn't the question then be whether there might have been another cause for her flat EEG which occurred before the drainage? For example of the kind I had found somewhere on the internet?

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Old 19th August 2003, 03:45 PM   #364
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Arbitrary

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a dressing in place and stitches needing inspection daily, it would be kinda hard to overlook the fact that the surgical team did something to me down there in addition to sawing open my head which I knew they were going to do.
I've never disputed this. What I find too hard to swallow is the theory that Pam's description of her NDE is basically authentic except for this particular part, which would be based on a rather severe distortion of her memory. It simply sounds much too arbitrary and ad hoc to me.

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Old 19th August 2003, 03:50 PM   #365
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Titus Rivas,

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It must have between 1994 and 1998 (the publication of his book) so that amounts to a maximum of 7 years. I certainly wouldn't call that too long, if that's what you're aiming at.
I'm not particularly "aiming at" anything. But if there is up to 7 years between the surgery and her discussing it with Sabom, then what chance is there to eliminate alternative explanations for her observations? Sure, she recalls the details as part of a single NDE experience. But stories and details change in the retelling (or 'rethinking', I guess!)

Perhaps Reynolds became aware of the "saw" a year after her own surgery, and when finally interviewed years later, that piece of information had "merged" into her NDE memories? I've worked with a colleague for over 17 years now, and we have one particular memory that we disagree on completely. We were both present at an event 10 years ago, but our recall differs dramatically. One or both of us are wrong, but both of us believe we remember correctly. Memory *is* fallible, and memories *do* merge to create "composites". The greater the delay in the retelling, the greater the chance of "incorrect" memories.
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Old 19th August 2003, 03:53 PM   #366
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TR: Wouldn't the question then be whether there might have been another cause for her flat EEG which occurred before the drainage? For example of the kind I had found somewhere on the internet?

There are many causes for flat-line EEGS indicating brain death:
ruptured aneurysm, massive cerebral infarction involving the brain stem, stroke caused by a thromboembolism, fat or even a large air embolus, a head bleed, massive head trauma, drug overdose causing the respiratory center to stop ones breathing, other drugs such as paralyzing agents, the list goes on. But were any of these involved in Pam's case? I dont think so.

We are given to believe repeatedly that she was electively placed on a heart/lung machine, cooled down to 60 F,(*) the blood drained from her head, the EEG flat-lined and then the surgery performed. I dont care what order was mentioned in the rhetorical accounts, this is the logical procedural order. What
other causes of flat EEG are you referencing?


(*)Actually the core temperature is most rapidly and precislely decreased by using the pump to cool the blood in addition to special pads through which cold water/alcohol solution is being circulated or being packed in ice (which is how the Russians started doing this procedure but this was primitive and use in emergency treatment now of hyperthermia such as cause by cocaine overdose or acute infection)
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Old 19th August 2003, 04:01 PM   #367
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TR: I've never disputed this. What I find too hard to swallow is the theory that Pam's description of her NDE is basically authentic except for this particular part, which would be based on a rather severe distortion of her memory.


I dont think this is a distortion of her memory. Based on the facts she has an excellent memory. The only difference is that when she retold this she did not separate it from the NDE and did not know this would've been done before she was clinically flat-lined but as a precusor to the procedure that would enable the blood to be drained from her head. I would not expect her to know the finer details of the procedure she underwent so it is perfectly reasonable to think she recalled the groin procedure and vein thing correctly because they happened but misattributed the time frame under which she may've been exposed to this knowledge.
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Old 19th August 2003, 04:05 PM   #368
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Effect of cooling

Forgive me my medical ignorance, Steve, but I was referring to this other, but still related operation:

Quote:
As his body temperature fell, the colors on monitors slowly ebbed and the room grew silent. At 86 degrees the rippling brain waves on the EEG monitor calmed and his heart rate slowed to a mere 50 beats a minute. With each degree the temperature dropped, his heart dragged more: at 80 degrees, 40 beats; at 75, 30. At 72 degrees it seemed to shiver, then abruptly stopped, a normal physiologic response to cold. The image on the television screen went limp.
After which they started draining.

Though it is another operation, it seems clear that the cooling process can in principle take place before the draining process. I supposed that cooling had quite an effect on one's EEG, so that it would be correct for Pam to state (in a laymen's code) that she observed the groin procedure "while the body was dead".

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Old 19th August 2003, 04:12 PM   #369
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Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As his body temperature fell, the colors on monitors slowly ebbed and the room grew silent. At 86 degrees the rippling brain waves on the EEG monitor calmed and his heart rate slowed to a mere 50 beats a minute. With each degree the temperature dropped, his heart dragged more: at 80 degrees, 40 beats; at 75, 30. At 72 degrees it seemed to shiver, then abruptly stopped, a normal physiologic response to cold. The image on the television screen went limp.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That is interesting. It looks like the EEG went flat before the heart stopped. The cooling alone " calrmed" the EEG. I assume calmed is the same as flat

However I would expect once the heart stopped also due to cooling that would ensure the EEG was indeed completely flat.
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Old 19th August 2003, 04:13 PM   #370
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Distortion

Steve, incorporating knowledge of the groin procedure in her memory of the NDE is called distortion. She would have thought that she observed the groin procedure during the NDE, which is altogether differen from merely misattributing the time frame under which she may have been exposed to this knowledge.

I'm a bit more informed about psychology than about medical science. That's how I know that the first phenomenon concerns episodical memory, and the second merely factual memory.

It's one thing to claim that one learnt about Napoleon in a class room whereas one really did so in the library. But it's surely a different thing to claim that one saw Napoleon during his life time when one really only read his biography.

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Old 19th August 2003, 04:17 PM   #371
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First of all this was not Pam's operation. Secondly the cannulation of the femoral vessels IS always done well in advance of any procedure that would stop the heart beat, and hence kill the EEG.
Ditto for the IVs. Show me where it says otherwise. Check in a book on surgery or better yet ask Sabom or any cadiothoracic surgeon or cardiologist.

In the example you give how did they precisely cool down this patient by the way?

Unofrtunately no body who can verify this wants to
confirm the groin procedure time frame or the small veins remark timeframe. In fact they dont want to confirm the saw time frame either but this is arguably the only procedure of these three mentions which ocurred after her head was drained of blood and she was EEG flat-line. A slow heart beat by the way does not kill the EEG. Patients in heart bock survive with heart beats, especially while asleep, down into the 20s and 40s.
Athletes routinely have heartbeats in the 40s to 50s.
Yes cooling slows down the heart rate and this makes it easier to get the patient onto extracorporeal circulation and it protects the tissues against hypoxemia by decreasing their oxygen requirements through decreased metabolism. I hope this article you quote not suggesting they cooled the patient to a point where cardiac standstill ocurred before they were ready to put him on the pump? And in order to put him on the pump ewfficiently and quickly guess what? They would have had to complete and test the so-called groin procedure beforehand.
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Old 19th August 2003, 04:25 PM   #372
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Would the body look dead?

Okay, Steve, let's leave the final word about this to Michael B. Sabom for now.
Again, there might be some misunderstanding on my part as I said before. For example, perhaps Pam understood something different by "while the body was dead". Would her body have looked dead to a layman, even before the blood had been drained and even without a flattened EEG?

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Old 19th August 2003, 04:33 PM   #373
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Dr. Robert A. Solomon

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"Let's start cooling," Dr. Robert A. Solomon, the neurosurgeon in charge, said as he finished clearing out a two-inch deep crater over the bulging vessel. The patient, Donald Rogers Jr. of Kansas City, Kansas, was then attached to a cardiac bypass machine which cooled his blood.
That's what's said about the cooling process, on this patient , Steve.

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Old 19th August 2003, 04:40 PM   #374
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"..........was then attached to a cardiac bypass machine which cooled his blood."


Well this does say it all then. In order for the precision cooling of the patient to take place he was FIRST placed on the heart/lung machine. Okay, back to square 1. In order to placed on scuh a device the groin procedure had to be performed first.

Using the heart/lung pump is the most precise way of lowering the body's core temperature (as I said above somewhere in this discussion).
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Old 19th August 2003, 05:29 PM   #375
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Re: Surprise surprise

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Originally posted by Titus Rivas
Diogenes,



Though I've really enjoyed (most of) your contributions, you may be surprised to read that you're not the only skeptic who's following this thread.

Titus
Now I'm worried..

Which post/s did you not enjoy? I hope the one about ' headcheese ', was not one of them.. I was sort of proud of that one..
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Old 19th August 2003, 06:48 PM   #376
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Quote:
Originally posted by SteveGrenard
"..........was then attached to a cardiac bypass machine which cooled his blood."


Well this does say it all then. In order for the precision cooling of the patient to take place he was FIRST placed on the heart/lung machine. Okay, back to square 1. In order to placed on scuh a device the groin procedure had to be performed first.

Using the heart/lung pump is the most precise way of lowering the body's core temperature (as I said above somewhere in this discussion).
So, is this the model we have agreed upon? After all, it specifies the craniotomy took place before the ' cool - down '..

This might be a good time to ask again:

By whom and how was it established, what events took place while the EEG was flat, and which of these events were accurately reported by Pam.


If one of them was supposedly the craniotomy, Pam's observation seems to be lacking in a crucial aspect..
Quote:
... I heard the saw crank up. I didn't see them use it on my head, but I think I heard it being used on something.
Which I mentioned before, is in contrast to her statement:
Quote:
It was not like normal vision. It was brighter and more focused and clearer than normal vision ..
Since it was at least four years later, that her experience was documented by Dr. Sabom, did he verify the events that took place during flat-line, and include this information in his book.

Why do we even have to speculate about, at what point the cannulation or craniotomy took place?
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Old 19th August 2003, 07:14 PM   #377
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I had been looking at this 1998 paper by Dr. Soloman earlier, :
Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest Procedures for Giant Intracranial Aneurysms
but had overlooked this aspect of the procedure..

Quote:
Craniotomy and initial dissection of the aneurysm are performed. When further dissection seems unduly hazardous without aneurysm softening or decompression, the anesthesiologist places the patient in burst suppression with a thiopental or propofol drip and the cardiac surgeon institutes deep hypothermia.
Of course we can't know if Dr. Spetzler and team handled Pam's case in this manner.

Again, it would seem that Dr. Sabom's research, would include such important details, in order to draw any worthwhile conclusions.
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Old 19th August 2003, 07:18 PM   #378
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Read NDEs

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Originally posted by Loki
lekatt,


I've read many NDE accounts, I've read the Lommel study well before this thread started (late last year I think), and Pam Reynolds has been discussed several times previously on this Forum. Do you find it easier to dismiss an opposing opinion by assuming it is based on a lack of information?


From my reading I have understood that "life continues" is one possibility. Not an all together unpleasant one in one sense, although saying even that presupposes some sort of concept of what this "aferlife" might be and entail. But reading anecdotes, a minority of which appear to include "real world" evidence, only takes me into "interested", not into "convinced".
Just seems to me if one is interested in a subject, one will research that subject. If you want to know about NDEs you will read about them. Experiencers are the ones to go to in order to learn about their experiences. No amount of discussion will reveal what or how NDEs come about.
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Old 19th August 2003, 07:20 PM   #379
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I wonder if there's any chance that Sabom could put us in touch with the anaesthetists who were present during the operations about which he writes.
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Old 19th August 2003, 09:26 PM   #380
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I'm curious Jagger. Assuming that I was prepared to accept that consciousness persists beyond death - ie, that consciousness is not created and destroyed physically - where do you believe that consciousness exists prior to physical existence. Where was my or your consciousness prior to you or I having a physical existence and by what mechanism did it connect with my body?
Reprise, I don't know. Some NDE's experiences imply or state reincarnation occurs but there isn't a way to confirm their accounts. Nor is a mechanism described to enter the body during birth.

Where the consciousness exists is another interesting question. Within the NDE, the experience of existence seems to change at some point. Dr Kenneth Ring asked 37 NDE individuals to describe time within their experience. 32 of 37 described time as non-existent. He asked 22 to describe their experience of space. 17 of the 22 described space as non-existent or infinite. In many NDE's, I have read comments describing a timeless experience or being in a spaceless "void" lacking everything.

The time question is very interesting because time is so important in cause and effect. So how does change occur if time is non-existent? One individual I talked with stated that everything happens simultaneously. He also stated that change was related to comprehension and intention. A very difficult concept to grasp if correct.

Here is one individuals description of timelessness from an interview within Rings study. Note, the individual has great difficulty in explaning his experience without time. It is also a word for word description which makes it hard to follow. I had to read it a couple times to really get the gist of what he is having so much difficulty describing:

Quote:
"This is the interesting part...it has to be out of space and time. It must be, because the context of it is that it is just...it can't be put into a time thing.......Okay, ......I can't explain the actual words, ""You really blew it this time, Frank""--I couldn't tell you if this was said before that whole movie thing or after it. Because, somehow, even though I feel it was at the end, it could have just as well been at the beginning. In other words, that statement related to the whole thing, before and after. I can't explain it.....You couldn't relate it to time."
Within our present understanding of the physical universe, I am only aware of one zone of timelessness. According to general relativity, time halts or disappears at the speed of light. And some would argue, including me, that space or dimensions also disappear at the speed of light due to the loss of distance. But it is argueable. I personally believe that general relativity places existence at the speed of light outside spacetime.
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Old 19th August 2003, 10:38 PM   #381
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Two questions for Steve

Let's assume you're right about the order of events, Steve. However, could you please answer these questions:

- Could the body have looked dead during the groin procedure, i.e. to a layman? (same question I asked you above)

- In what brain state would the patient normally be during a groin procedure?

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Old 20th August 2003, 12:32 AM   #382
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TR: - Could the body have looked dead during the groin procedure, i.e. to a layman? (same question I asked you above)


Reply: Certainly a person could "look" dead. Anybody can "look" dead including people who are asleep. Are certain important points of life present?

Normal skin color and breathing? Yes. But these may not be noticed by oneself dreaming they were dead or having an NDE for that matter.


So if you look at someone carefully who is lying still, asleep or mildly sedated or lightly anesthesitized can you tell whether they are alive or dead without an ECG or EEG? Or w/o feeling their pulse or listening to their heart? I would hope so. But could Pam, perceiving herself, think she was dead. Sure. The only reason a lot of us know we are alive is because of our consciousness, conscious thoughts and perception of stimuli.
Can we have dreams in which we are dead? Why not?

Pam was sedated, pre-medicated or lightly anesthestized for this aspect of the procedure but it did not occur during the flat EEG, profound hypothermic phase. The "groin procedure" had to happen before they could accomplish that since it was a prequisite to going onto the "cardiac bypass" (heart/lung machine/pump.).






TR: In what brain state would the patient normally be during a groin procedure?

Reply: Good question. In any one of several stages of sleep of which there are 4 plus REM. Without seeing the EEG, we can't answer the question as to what stage. Stage 1 and 2 are lighter stages, 3&4 are the deepest stages and hardest to arouse from.
You won't hear or experience anything in stage 3 or 4 sleep which is also known as delta sleep or slow wave sleep (SWS).

Stage 1 is the lightest stage, transitional between wake and sleep. You are apt to awaken easily and perceive outside stimuli such as noises/voices during this stage.


Stage REM is a lighter stage during which dreaming occurs and from which we often awake (and hence remember our dreams) or which may terminate into another stage of sleep which makes us least likely to remember them. We have sleep paralysis (SP) during REM. People who wake up from REM with the SP still persisting often think they are dead. (RISP, recurrent isolated sleep paralysis.) Nothing short of a detailed medical case history in these cases will help us to reconcile the possibilities of an NDE. I trust Dr. Sabom, for example, had Pam's complete medical records, a copy of her entire chart and EEG and looked into such factors himself including all drugs given, agents used to pre-medicate, sedate and anesthestize her, etc etc. and when.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:

Although the saw procedure (craniotomy) may have occurred prior to cooling and circulatory arrest, it doesn't make sense that it did so as inferred above. It would have made more sense to delay this until after the EEG was flat (e.g. blood drained from the head).
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Old 20th August 2003, 12:39 AM   #383
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My one problem with someone thinking or perceving they were dead and looking down at themselves on an operating room table having a procedure done to them is this. If one thought they were dead, they would be saying ... if I am dead, why are they down there working so diligently on me? Performing surgery on my head or my groin? What for? This is the reason there is debate whether NDEs are simply induced OOBEs under stressful and even traumatic circumstances including being near death.
Pam's case is so important because of her EEG status and the plan that this would be temporary and she'd be restored. And this is why it is so imprtant to have a blow by blow timeline to work from. Which we don't.
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Old 20th August 2003, 12:55 AM   #384
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Puzzling development

When I started this thread I thought that Pam's whole NDE took place while she underwent a state of flat EEG. This is strongly suggested by all the websites I had read on the case and nobody I had been in touch with about the case thus far, had given me reason to think otherwise. Diogenes has been talking about homework and I still hold that I certainly had done enough to be entitled to start the threat. However, I had not done one thing yet (buying and reading Dr. Sabom's book) that might have shed a lot of light on more details. I assumed it wasn't necessary (though I had obviously decided to buy the book one day) since I believed the information on the websites was correct as all the websites seemed to confirm each other. That was what made me think that what is suggested by the links in my first posting on this thread is basically correct. That is also why I thought that when Dr. Spetzler referred to Light and Death, he was referring to information completely in accordance with what is suggested by the websites.
I first started doubting this yesterday when I discovered an error (which I posted immediately on this thread) about Pam's supposedly being involved in the so called Atlanta Study in 1991, when it hadn't even begun yet (as it was founded in 1994).

This morning I received a message from a Mr. Julio Siqueira from Brazil, whom I had alerted to the thread. I will reveal the contents of his message in my next postings. Mr. Siqueira included two digitalized chapters from the book Light and Death in his answer to my e-mail. On the one hand, these chapters confirm important parts of the Pam Reynolds case, but on the other hand they also show that some claims which have become widespread by now are unwarranted.

By the way I still have reason to believe that this case is very important.

I wish to thank Mr. Julio Siqueira for his kind contribution. I'm also thankful for Steve's medical knowledge which turns out to be more relevant than I thought. Finally I'm even grateful to some skeptics, especially Diogenes, who were right in insisting we needed more details (though perhaps not entirely for the same reasons why I now acknowledge we did).
I should not forget that I'm also indebted to Pam Reynolds herself, whose recent testimony turns out to be in accordance with the book. Steve will probably be right that the body simply must have looked dead to her.

Again, this does not at all amount to admitting the case has been debunked. It certainly has not.

Titus
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Old 20th August 2003, 01:14 AM   #385
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Mr. Julio Siqueira's contribution

For any skeptic who is a bit too euphoric about my confession that my view of the case has been altered by Mr. Julio Siqueira, let me start by quoting from his e-mail:

Quote:
Pam Reynolds' case is remarkable in many many respects. And I believe that a full description of it (in all of its weaknesses and strengths) will lead any real skeptic to a "higher state of confusion", as science phylosopher Alan Chalmers once put (in his book "What is This Thing Called Science").
Having said so, Julio Siqueira's correction of the usual way the case of Pam Reynolds is presented reads:

Quote:
The most important part has to do with the timings of the events and the relative strengths and weaknesses of Pam's testimony. It seems clear to me that most of her subjetive experience (and all of her verifiable perceptions) took place not when she was flatlined, brain-drained, brain-stem dumped, and near body-frozen. The only subjetive experience that did take place under these extreme conditions were her meetings with deceased ones, and other out-of-Operating Room reports.
So the NDE would only partially have occurred while her EEG was flattened. In my next posting I will quote from the relevant passages in Light and Death to show why Mr. Siqueira is probably right about this.

In yet another posting I will show why the case is still very important.

Titus
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Old 20th August 2003, 01:25 AM   #386
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Why Mr. Siqueira is probably right

Unless both Mr. Siqueira and myself misunderstand the following passages from Light and Deat , he is probably right that Pam was not in a state of flat EEG during the veridical observations of the surgery:
Quote:
Page 37

The Midas Rex whirlwind bone saw, rotating at a constant 73,000 rpm, was deftly held by the surgeon like a brush in the hand of an artist. A loud whirring noise, similar to that of a dentist's drill, filled the sterile air of the operating room.(2)

Brain surgery was about to begin.


Page 38

The whole episode frequently rests on self-report alone. In The Atlanta Study, however, medical documentation of the events surrounding the near-death experience was obtained whenever possible. In Pam's case, this documentation far exceeds any recorded before and provides us with our most complete scientific glimpse yet into the near-death experience.

Pam had been awake when brought into the operating room at 7:15 that August morning in 1991. She remembers the IVs, "so many of them," followed by "a loss of time" as the intravenous penthathol worked its calming magic on her.

According to Spetzler's surgical report, her body was lifted onto the operating table and her arms and legs securely tied down. Her eyes were lubricated to prevent drying and then taped shut. An endotracheal tube was skillfully guided through her mouth into her windpipe, and general anesthesia was begun.

For the next hour and twenty-five minutes, Pam's unconscious body was instrumented with the most advanced technologv some of which had been specifically designed for hvpothermic arrest.

A two-inch-long plastic tube was slipped into the artery in her wrist to continuously monitor her blood prcssure. A threefoot long Swan Ganz catheter, resembling an elongated piece of spaghetti, was threaded through the jugular vein of her neck into the artery in her lung to measure pulmonary pressures and blood flow from her heart. Cardiac monitoring leads were attached to follow heart rate and rhythm, and an oximeter was taped to her index finger to measure oxygen levels in her blood.

Precise documentation of body temperature would be crucial. Urinary temperature would be measured by a special thermister on the tip of a Foley catheter placed in Pam's bladder.

Page 39

Core body temperature from the innermost part of her body would be monitored with another thermister placed deeply into her esophagus. The temperature of her brain would be registered through a thin wire embedded in its surface.

Standard EEG electrodes taped to her head would record cerebral cortical brain activity. The auditory nerve center located in the brain stem would be tested repeatedly using 100-decibel clicks emitted from small, molded speakers inserted into her ears. In response to these clicks, sharp spikes on the electrogram (i.e. evoked potentials) would assure the surgical team that the brain stem was intact.

Four separate sites were prepped for surgery: the right side of Pam's head for the craniotomy the chest for possible open-heart surgery, and both groins for femoral artery and vein access for cardiopulmonary bypass. Adhesive defibrillator pads were stuck to her chest in case her heart needed to be shocked back to life.

Finally, Pam's head was turned to a full left lateral position and secured in a three-point-pin head holder.

By 8:40 A.M., Pam's entire body except for her head and groin had been blanketed with sterile drapes. Over 20 doctors, nurses, and technicians had scrubbed in (see Figure 1).

Surrounding Pam's head was the neurosurgical team, including Spetzler, who sat in a specialized chair controlled by foot pedals, leaving both hands free to operate. To the right of her legs stood the cardiac surgical team. At her feet sat the heart-pump technicians with their giant chrome-headed pump oxygenator and cardiopulrnonary bypass equipment. And to her left were the neuroanesthesiologists, who were monitoring her vital signs and brain function. Perfect coordination among these four medical teams would be critical if the aneurysm were to be successfully removed and Pam retrieved from her journey to the edge of death.

Spetzler began the surgery by carefully marking the incision lines on Pam's shaved head and quickly opening the scalp with a


Page 41

curved surgical blade. The scalp flap was folded back, exposing a glistening gray skull. A surgical nurse handed Spetzler the pneumatically-powered Midas Rex, attached by a long green hose to compressed air tanks in the corner of the room. A loud buzzing noise then filled the OR as the powerful, thumb-sized motor hidden in the brass head of the bone saw revved up. The cutting tool began to carve out a large section of Pam's skull.

Pam's near-death experience began to unfold. She relates the story with remarkable detail:

Spetzler removed the hone flap from Pam's skull, exposing the outermost membrane of her brain-the dura mater. This

Page 42

tough, fibrous covering was opened with special dural scissors. The operating microscope was then draped and swung into position. The remainder of the intracranial portion of the procedure took place under this microscope controlled by a lever held in Spetzler's mouth.

While Spetzler was opening Pam's head, a female cardiac surgeon located the femoral artery and vein in Pam's right groin. These vessels turned out to be too small to handle the large flow of blood needed to feed the cardiopulmonary bypass machine. Thus, the left femoral artery and vein were prepared for use. Pam later recalled this point in the surgery:

Someone said something about my veins and arteries being very small. I believe it was a female voice and that it was Dr. Murray, but I'm not sure. She was the cardiologist [sic]. I remember thinking that I should have told her about that . . . . I remember the heart-lung machine. I didn't like the respirator. . . . I remember a lot of tools and instruments that I did not readily recognize.

Attention then shifted to large color television monitors mounted on the OR walls, which began to televise Patn's brain as seen through the operating microscope. The OR team followed Spetzler on the TV screen as he journeyed underneath the base of the temporal lobe, around the vein of Labbe, between the third and fourth cranial nerves, and to the neck of a giant basilar artery aneurysm. As feared, the aneurysm turned out to be, as Spetzler noted in his medical records, "extremely large and extended up into the brain." Hypothermic cardiac arrest would definitely be needed.

Into the Valley of the Shadow of Death

At 10:50 A.M. the cardiac surgeon and heart-pump technicians leapt into action. Tubes were inserted into the exposed femoral

Page 43

arteries and veins and connected to clear plastic hoses leading to and from the cardiopulmonary bypass machinc. Warm blood from Parn's body began coursing through the hoses into the large reservoir cylinders of the bypass machine. Here it would be chilled before being returned to her body. The risky cooling process had begun.

At 11:00 A.M. Pam's core body temperature had fallen 25 degrees. The methodical beep-beep-beep of the cardiac monitor was interrupted by a steady warning tone indicating cardiac malfunction. The irregular, disorganized pattern of ventricular fibrillation now marched across the monitor screen. Five minutes later, the remaining electrical spams of Pam's dying heart were extinguished with massive intravenous doses of potassium chloride. Cardiac arrest was complete.

As Pam's heart arrested, her brain waves flattened into complete electrocerebral silence. Brain-stem function weakened as the clicks from the ear speakers produced lower and lower spikes on the monitoring electrogram.

Twenty minutes later, her core body temperature had fallen another 13 degrees to a tomblike 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius). The clicks from her ear speakers no longer elicited a response. Total brain shutdown.

Then, at precisely 11:25 A.M., Pam was subjected to one of the most daring and remarkable surgical maneuvers ever performed in an operating room. The head of the operating table was tilted up, the cardiopulmonary bypass machine was turned off, and the blood was drained from Pam's body like oil from a car. Sometime during this period, Pam's near-death experience progressed:

There was a sensation like being pulled, but not against your will. I was going on my own accord because I wanted to go. I have different metaphors to try to explain this. It was like the Wizard of Oz-being taken up in a tornado vortex...
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Old 20th August 2003, 01:38 AM   #387
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jagger
Within our present understanding of the physical universe, I am only aware of one zone of timelessness. According to general relativity, time halts or disappears at the speed of light. And some would argue, including me, that space or dimensions also disappear at the speed of light due to the loss of distance. But it is argueable. I personally believe that general relativity places existence at the speed of light outside spacetime.
Don't the gravitational forces involved in a singularity also result in the laws of space/time breaking down at the event horizon?
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Old 20th August 2003, 01:42 AM   #388
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Why the Pam Reynolds' NDE is very important anyway

Now that we have read (or at least deducted from reading the passages in question) that Pam Reynolds was not in a state of flat EEG when she observed details of the operation, we reach the question what aspects of the case should still be considered 'remarkable'.

- First of all, although the veridical observations of the surgery took place when her EEG had not flattened yet, they did occur while she was unconscious.
Julio Siqueira adds the following to this point:

Quote:
Her eyes were tape shut, her ears were plugged, and she only mentions "memories" after a long time the anesthetic was given to her, and not all the while. So something different happened with her then. She seems to have emerged from anesthetic unconsciousness.

- She did report further stages of a classical NDE which occurred during the stage of flat EEG, even if these stages did not concern the surgical procedures. This is in itself inexplicable by any materialist neurological theory!!!

Or as Dr. Sabom formulates this, page 49:

Quote:
But during "standstill," Pam's brain was found "dead" by all three clinical tests-her electroencephalogram was silent, her brain-stem response was absent, and no blood flowed through her brain. Interestingly; while in this state, she encountered the "deepest" near-death experience of all Atlanta Study participants. The average score for an NDE on Dr. Greyson's NDE Scale was 15, similar to the 13.3 average I found in The Atlanta Study. Pam's NDE stood out, however, with an amazing depth of 27!
and

on page 50:

Quote:
On CBS' 48 hours, Dr. Spetzler was interviewed along with Pam and myself. As Pam's attending surgeon, he emphasized that during hypothermic cardiac arrest, "If you would examine that patient from a clinical perspective during that hour, that patient by all detinition would be dead. At this point there is no brain activity, no blood going through the brain. Nothing, nothing, nothing:"
- Her perception of some surgical procedures was largely correct and confirmed by the surgical records of the operation:

Quote:
Pam's Near-Death Experience

Pam Reynolds, whom we first met in Chapter 3, reported the deepest near-death experience of The Atlanta Study at a time when her brain and body were extensively instrumented and monitored.

Could Pam's NDE have resulted from a temporal lobe seizure? Clinically, such seizures are detected by abnormal brainwave patterns on an EEG. Her brain-wave activity was continuously monitored, and no seizure phenomena were reported. Furthermore, her surgeon, Dr. Robert Spetzler, told me that he "has never known of someone having a temporal lobe seizure during this procedure:" He felt it would be "extremely unlikely" that such a seizure would occur since Pam's brain had been silenced with massive arnounts of "barbiturate protection."

Could Pam have heard the intraoperative conversation and then used this to reconstruct an out-of-body experience? At the beginning of the procedure, molded ear speakers were placed in each ear as a test for auditory and brain-stem reflexes. These speakers occlude the ear canals and altogether eliminate the possibility of physical hearing. Despite this, she reports having heard, during her out-of-body experience, "something about my veins and arteries being very small. I believe it was a female voice and that it was Dr. Murray; but I'm not sure. She was the cardiologist [sic]. I remember thinking that I should have told her about that."

Dr. Murray was the female cardiovascular surgeon in the case. In her operative report, she had dictated in her section on "Findings at the time of surgery" that

Page 185

the right femoral artery and vein were exposed, and the right common femoral artery was quite small, approximating the size ot a normal saphenous vein bypass. Due to its 4-mm size, it would not accept a #18 arterial cannula. It was decided that, in order to achieve appropriate flows for bypass, bilateral groin cannulation would be necessary: This was discussed with Neurosurgery, as it would affect angio access postoperatively for arteriography.

From this evidence, we can conclude that the conversation actually occurred and that its content was accurately recalled. Also, the timing of this conversation with the reported occurrence of the out-of-body experience was found to be precise.

Pam stated that she did not hear or perceive anything prior to her out-of-body experience, and that this experience began with hearing the bone saw. At this point in the operation, she had been under anesthesia for about 90 minutes. If the conversation she claims to have heard had occurred prior to or after this point in the surgery then this recollection would not correspond to her out-of-body experience and would rule against the accuracy of Pam's story.

Dr. Spetzler dictated into his operative report that "simultaneous with the opening of the craniotomy, Dr. Murray performed bilateral femoral cut-downs for cannulation for cardiac bypass." "Craniotomy" means cutting open the skull with the bone saw. Dr. Murray would have conversed about the size of Pam's vessels at the time she was performing the cut-downs. Thus, the "opening [or beginning] of the craniotomy" using the bone saw was simultaneous with the conversation about Pam's small blood vessels-and, as it turns out, with her out-of-body experience. This correspondence oF Pam's recollections from an out-of-body experience with the correct bit of intraoperative conversation during a six-hour operative procedure is certainly intriguing evidence in support of Pam's story.

Page 186

But was Pam's visual recollection from her out-of-body experience accurate?

When I first interviewed Pam on November 11, 1994, I was unfamiliar with the neurosurgical instruments used in this procedure. As a matter of routine, however, I ask for details recalled from an out-of-body experience. This point in my interview with Pam is transcribed below:

Sabom: Did you see any specifics in the operating room during your experience?

Pam: I remember seeing several things in the operating room when I was looking down.... I remember the heart-lung machine. I didn't like the respirator. But there were so many of them in different places and different points in the body I remember a lot of tools and instruments that I did not readily recognize.

Sabom: Were there any details that you had not seen before?

Pam: The saw thing that I hated the sound of looked like an electric toothbrush and it had a dent in it, a groove at the top where the saw appeared to go into the handle, but it didn't.... And the saw had interchangeable blades, too, but these blades were in what looked like a socket wrench case. . . . I heard the saw crank up. I didn't see them use it on my head, but I think I heard it being used on something. It was humming at a relatively high pitch and then all of a sudden it went Brrrrrrrrrr! like that.

When I heard Pam's description of the bone saw that Dr. Spetzler used to open her skull, I cringed. An "electric toothbrush" with "interchangeable blades"? No way!

I filed the interview tape and did not listen to it for over a year while my research continued.

In March 1996, I transcribed Pam's tape and began to research the documentation of her story. I phoned the Midas

Page 187

Rex Company in Fort Worth,Texas, and they sent me a student's user manual with pictures of the bone saw used by Dr. Spetzler. I was shocked with the accuracy of Pam's description of the saw as an "electric toothbrush" with "interchangeable blades" (See Figure 3) and with a "socket wrench case" in which this equipment is kept (See Figure 4).

But Pam's description of the bone saw having a "groove at the top where the saw appeared to go into the handle" was a bit puzzling. If viewed from the side (see Figure 5), the end of the bone saw has an overhanging edge that looks somewhat like a groove. However, it was not located "where the saw appeared to go into the handle" but at the other end.

Why had this apparent discrepancy arisen in Pams description? Of course, the first explanation is that she did not "see" the saw at all, but was describing it from her own best guess of what it would look and sound like. The details that apparently correlated accurately with the saw would then have been merely coincidental. Another possible explanation is that she actually did "see" the saw from a distance, giving a fairly accurate description of the saw, "interchangeable blades," and case they were stored in, but was not able to precisely "see" the tip of the saw. This saw is quite small and, when being moved around in use, may be very difficult to see accurately.
Dr. Michael B. Sabom acknowledges that it depends on your general background whether you accept all this as good evidence (as Julio Siqueira and myself obviously do), p. 189:

Quote:
Further exploration of Pam's case continues to raise the same questions: If we accept what she "saw" or "heard" as being accurate, then could she have been told about it either before or after the surgery to allow for the correct description, could she have somehow known about it from her own knowledge, or could it have been just coincidence? These are all legitimate questions that continue to becloud the claim of the near-death experiencer that "I saw it from the ceiling." For some, evidence arising from cases such as Pam's will continue to suggest some type of out-of-body experience occurring when death is imminent. For others, the inexactness which arises in the evaluation of these cases will be reason enough to dismiss them as dreams, hallucinations, or fantasies.
However, in my view we continue to have reasons to believe Pam did not have prior knowledge, namely her own testimony about the way she was informed about her operation, and the fact that the surgical procedure was recent and only known to a limited number of people. For instance, Dr. Sabom had not known about it when he first read about the case and thought Pam was simply wrong about the 'saw'.

Here's what Julio Siqueira has added about this point:

Quote:
In this case, I think fraud and confabulation seems to be extremely unlikely. But maybe we might assume that it is not impossible. Mr. Gary Schwartz, in his reply to James Randi (as posted in the site "Debunking the Debunkers"), made (from my point of view) some very informative comments about what is to be "scientific" and what is not. He mentions something like "Scientists always speak in terms of probability". I agree with him to a certain extent
Summarizing, Pam did report an NDE for the stage of flat EEG and she really does seem to have had veridical impressions of the surgical procedures. She just didn't have the latter during the stage of flat EEG.

All this should give any open-minded person reason to think twice before dismissing the case.

Julio even formulates it a bit stronger:

Quote:
Anyone who dismisses this case can be deemed dismissable

Titus

P.S.: I thought I would soon place the two chapters from Light and Death on two separate links. But considering copyright issues, it does not seem such a good idea after all.
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Old 20th August 2003, 02:54 AM   #389
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What mind can do in terms of mind

A relevant passage by Charles Tart:

Quote:
The findings of scientific parapsychology force us to pragmatically accept that mind can do things — information gathering processes like telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition and directly affecting the physical world with PK — that cannot be reduced to physical explanations with current scientific knowledge or reasonable extensions of it. So it is vitally important to investigate what mind can do in terms of mind, not wait for them to be explained (away) someday in terms of brain functioning — a form of faith that philosophers have aptly called promissory materialism, since it cannot be scientifically refuted.
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Old 20th August 2003, 04:49 AM   #390
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Any passage by Charles Tart is irrelevant.
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Old 20th August 2003, 05:05 AM   #391
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Corey
Any passage by Charles Tart is irrelevant.
I agree. He gives me a headache.
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Old 20th August 2003, 05:13 AM   #392
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ASC

Quote:
I agree. He gives me a headache.
Perhaps you should both try an Altered State of Consciousness to get rid of any negativity about Tart.

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Old 20th August 2003, 05:22 AM   #393
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Titus Rivas,

Quote:
Summarizing, Pam did report an NDE for the stage of flat EEG and she did have veridical impressions of the surgical procedures. She just didn't have the latter during the stage of flat EEG.
Well, perhaps. Sabom is more cautious that you are, apparently. There are really only two "veridical impressions" of any detail that are confirmed :

1. The 'small veins and arteries'.

Quote:
(Reynolds reported as saying) : "something about my veins and arteries being very small. I believe it was a female voice and that it was Dr. Murray; but I'm not sure. She was the cardiologist [sic]. I remember thinking that I should have told her about that."
So Reynolds was aware that she had "small veins and arteries" prior to going into the surgery.

2. The 'electric toothbrush' saw.

Quote:
(Sabom writes) : Why had this apparent discrepancy arisen in Pams description? Of course, the first explanation is that she did not "see" the saw at all, but was describing it from her own best guess of what it would look and sound like. The details that apparently correlated accurately with the saw would then have been merely coincidental. Another possible explanation is that she actually did "see" the saw from a distance, giving a fairly accurate description of the saw, "interchangeable blades," and case they were stored in, but was not able to precisely "see" the tip of the saw.
When Pam describes the saw, she gets several details correct, and one apparently important detail - a detail she emphasizes - (possibly) incorrect.

Quote:
All this should give any open-minded person reason to think twice before dismissing the case.
And the obvious grey areas in Pam's "evidence" should give any open-minded person reason to wish for something more conclusive!
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Old 20th August 2003, 05:26 AM   #394
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Titus,

The chronology of events in the operating room certainly satisfies my curiosity about what actually took place.

Thanks for taking the time and doing the research.

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Old 20th August 2003, 05:45 AM   #395
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Re: ASC

Quote:
Originally posted by Titus Rivas
Perhaps you should both try an Altered State of Consciousness to get rid of it.
You misunderstand. Even though Claus and I are identical twins separated prior to birth, we don't get simultaneous headaches.
Tart makes me nauseous.
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Old 20th August 2003, 06:58 AM   #396
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Charles Tart

If the mind can make you nauseous, and/or give headaches, then the mind can also make you well.

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Old 20th August 2003, 08:40 AM   #397
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Two points by Julio Siqueira about which I disagree

Here's two points from Julio Siqueira he's kindly made in his latest message to me:

Quote:
Allow for the possibility of memory edition. Consciousness is far more tricky than most researchers seem to have been aware of. Can anyone be really sure that there is unconsciouness at all? Can anyone be sure of all that is remembered, even within the last 20 minutes. Modern science seems to suggest that the answer to these is: NO
He means, at least as I understand it, that it is very difficult to draw any definitive scientific conclusions about consciousness and about the reliability of memory. In this sense it would be difficult to assess if the parts of Pam's NDE unrelated to the surgical procedure really took place during her flattened EEG. However, in my view, many NDEs do actually seem to take place during a flattened EEG, e.g. according to the studies by Pim van Lommel et al. So I see no specific reason to doubt the possibility of this happening also in the case of Pam Reynolds.

Another point considers the question what kind of evidence the case of Pam Reynolds provides:

Quote:
This case is certainly good evidence for a lot of things. Its relative strength depends on the claim we are trying to support. As a "scientific proof" of afterlife, this case is highly introductory and tricky. As an "indication of the weakness of the traditional materialistic hypothesis" this case is almost devastating! Even though it is not a tenth as devastating as the ESP Ganzfeld research...
Actually, I disagree with Mr. Siquiera here in that I believe, as I said before on this thread, that evidence for ESP -or more generally against materialism- equals evidence for a component in man that is independent of the brain and will therefore survive its destruction.

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Old 20th August 2003, 09:36 AM   #398
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Titus, good work.

It appears to me looking at the timeline that the saw was used around 8:40. The lowering of blood temperature didn't begin until 10:50.

We can tie in the beginning of her experience with the saw and the veins to around 8:40. However after these observations, she apparently entered the tunnel fairly quickly. At least, we don't have 2 hours worth of observations available. The timeline of the surgery compared to her description suggests she entered the tunnel prior to 10:50 when the lowering of her temperature and everything else began leading to her flat EEG.

Pam Reynolds also reported that she heard a specific song playing on the radio when she returned to her body. However I didn't see anything that allows us to determine a precise time of return by matching with the song.

What is interesting to me is that the OBE began without the body in danger of dying. The tunnel experience also appears to have begun before cooling or the flat EEG. Without knowing the specific time of the song, we don't know when she returned to her body. We can make an assumption she returned towards the end of the operation. However we all just learned what happens when we make assumptions. If she returned at the end of the surgery, then we would still have what appears to be a functioning consciousness with a flat EEG brain.

We still have the accurate observations from an unconscious body which should be physically impossible. So the case is still important.

But I think it is interesting that the OBE occurred and tunnel experience began with a stable unconscious body that wasn't dying or dead yet. I am curious what triggered the experience.
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Old 20th August 2003, 10:17 AM   #399
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Perhaps we should go back for a moment to the Lommel study. Case from here:

http://profezie3m.altervista.org/arc...Lancet_NDE.htm

Quote:
"During a night shift an ambulance brings in a 44-year-old cyanotic, comatose man into the coronary care unit. He had been found about an hour before in a meadow by passers-by. After admission, he receives artificial respiration without intubation, while heart massage and defibrillation are also applied. When we want to intubate the patient, he turns out to have dentures in his mouth. I remove these upper dentures and put them onto the 'crash car'. Meanwhile, we continue extensive CPR. After about an hour and a half the patient has sufficient heart rhythm and blood pressure, but he is still ventilated and intubated, and he is still comatose. He is transferred to the intensive care unit to continue the necessary artificial respiration. Only after more than a week do I meet again with the patient, who is by now back on the cardiac ward. I distribute his medication. The moment he sees me he says: 'Oh, that nurse knows where my dentures are'. I am very surprised. Then he elucidates: 'Yes, you were there when I was brought into hospital and you took my dentures out of my mouth and put them onto that car, it had all these bottles on it and there was this sliding drawer underneath and there you put my teeth.' I was especially amazed because I remembered this happening while the man was in deep coma and in the process of CPR. When I asked further, it appeared the man had seen himself lying in bed, that he had perceived from above how nurses and doctors had been busy with CPR. He was also able to describe correctly and in detail the small room in which he had been resuscitated as well as the appearance of those present like myself. At the time that he observed the situation he had been very much afraid that we would stop CPR and that he would die. And it is true that we had been very negative about the patient's prognosis due to his very poor medical condition when admitted. The patient tells me that he desperately and unsuccessfully tried to make it clear to us that he was still alive and that we should continue CPR. He is deeply impressed by his experience and says he is no longer afraid of death. 4 weeks later he left hospital as a healthy man."
From an interview, Lommel gives greater detail on the condition of the patient upon arrival at the hospital here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/timele.../1416?source=1

Quote:
It was a 43-year-old man who had an out-of-hospital
(cardiac) arrest and so when he was admitted to the hospital, they had been doing CPR for more than half an hour. So he was deeply unconscious and cyanotic when he was admitted to the hospital. He was in very bad shape. He had no blood pressure, no heartbeat, and so they were performing CPR. And after 1.5 hours in the hospital at last he had blood pressure and heart beat, but there was brain damage. So, there was no spontaneous respiration.

Here we have a cardiac arrest case. Upon arrival at the hospital, he had no blood pressure or heartbeat. According to Lommel, a flat EEG occurs within 6-10 seconds of cardiac arrest. Yet the individual appears to have observed his arrival at the hospital and resuscitation attempts. Without heartbeat shouldn't this individual have had a flat EEG during the time of arrival and resuscitation attempts corresponding with his observations.

Added.....CPR may have prevented a flat EEG.
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Old 20th August 2003, 10:42 AM   #400
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Quote:
Don't the gravitational forces involved in a singularity also result in the laws of space/time breaking down at the event horizon?
REprise, my understanding is the laws of physics breaks down not at the event horizon but upon reaching the singularity itself. At the event horizon, light cannot escape the gravitational pull of the black hole but it is still part of our spacetime. The singularity itself at the center of the blackhole should result in a tear of spacetime putting it outside of our spacetime. And it very well may be outside of all spacetime entirely. If the singularity is outside of all spacetime, then it would be a region of timelessness similiar to existence at the speed of light.
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