Foundation for Near-Death Studies

Suggestions for Health

Care Providers


There are several ways health care providers can help an NDEer incorporate this experience into their lives.

  • Allow them to talk freely about the experience. Remember, disclosure is very difficult. Ask open ended questions such as, "Many people report having an unusual experience during the time when they were unconscious. Did anything like this happen to you?"
  • Always touch and talk to the patient, even when you think they can’t be listening, such as during cardiac arrest or in a coma.
  • Do not minimize this experience as delirium or a hallucination.
  • Briefly interview all patients following a cardiac arrest.
  • Offer to supply information and resources to the patient and the family (books, articles, websites, professional organizations are available)
  • Establish a resource file about NDEs and related events; in the hospital library and on units most likely to have patients admitted who are at risk for cardiac arrest (Emergency Department, ICU, CCU, OR)
  • Encourage professional education at all levels.
  • Be alert for cues. Some people may start the conversation with "I had the most incredible dream…"
  • Counselors are available who can help the patient and their families integrate the experience in a positive way. Usually, this only requires a few sessions.

 
Below are links to highly recommended online articles about near-death experiences:

Morse, Melvin
Near Death Experiences and Death-Related Visions in Children: Implications for the Clinician
Curr Probl Pediatr 1994;24:55-83
Read online at: http://melvinmorse.com/e-cpp.htm  

This is a must read. Excellent overview of NDEs in both children and adults; good historical perspective.
Well referenced, lengthy but well worth the effort.

 

Van Lommel, van Wees,  Meyers, Elfferich: 
Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: A prospective study in the Netherlands 
Lancet 2001; 358: 2039-45
Read online at: http://www.zarqon.co.uk/Lancet.pdf

One of the best prospective, multi-centered studies on near-death experiences to date.