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What Happens When We Die Hardcover – 29 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House UK (29 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401905560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401905569
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 3.4 x 13.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,033,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Sam Parnia, M.D., is a leading expert on near-death experiences. He now spends his time in hospitals and Cornell University in New York, where he's a Fellow in pulmonary and critical-care medicine. He founded the Consciousness Research Group and is chairman of the Horizon Research Foundation. Dr. Parnia is constantly in demand as a speaker, and he's made numerous media appearances. His groundbreaking research was recently featured in the BBC 2 and Discovery documentary, The Day I Died.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kent Guy on 3 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
It's hard not to warm to Sam Parnia. A young jobbing doctor, he became increasingly fascinated by what happens to people after death. Specfically he was interested in finding out what truth - if any - there is behind Near Death Experiences.
His coup was in persuading Southampton Hospital to allow a full-on research study into the phenomenon, persuading them to put up suspended boards across the hospital (if anyone reported floating above the bed, could they then read what was the other side of the boards?!) However, funding meant it was only a very small scale study, and reading this book confirms that there is a long way to go before anything close to proof is achieved, one way or the other.
Parnia makes a good introduction to the various theories surrounding the genuine mystery of what consciousness is, and his logic in dealing with these theories is largely persuasive. It is a very readable book to the non-medical and the non-scientific, very occasionally he perhaps simplifies or over-dramatises.
What is perhaps the most powerful section of the book is the individual stories of NDEs. Some, especially from impossibly young children, are utterly extraordinary, while several reports made by from sober, highly experienced surgeons working in the heart of the medical establishment are particularly persuasive. I hope this is not the last we hear of Sam Parnia and his work, and that funds are found to allow for a full study. After all, it's hard to imagine any subject being more relevant to all mankind than what happens to us all after death...
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "jennnh" on 25 Jan. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is such a fantastic read for either the none believer OR for those already interested in NDEs. It not only includes personal experiences that people have had but also incorporates strong scientific arguments for the concept of life after death.
The evidence presented in the book makes you realise that there is certainly something going on that science is yet to discover. Ive been studying near death experiences and paranormal phenomena for ten years and this is the best book ive ever read ! Cant wait for book number two !!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Hamster on 6 Mar. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, written by a doctor with an open mind is clearly written. There's no nonsense here, so charateristic of books about life after death. This is the best book I've read on the subject by far. Dr Parnia's writing is calm, logical, level-headed and rational. He is careful not to make too many big claims but his findings and logic cannot be easily dismissed.

Other thinkers, scientists and psychologists have stated that near-death experiences are simply the symptoms of an oxygen-starved brain. Dr Parnia says that confusion, not the clarity characteristic of a near-death experience is what happens when the brain is starved of oxygen. Who do we believe? I don't see any reason to doubt what this doctor is saying.

It is a pity that the experiments haven't yet turned up absolute proof of what Dr Parnia is looking for, but his research is going ahead, which if successful will prove the most important and interesting yearning of mankind - to know what, if anything happens after death.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 April 2006
Format: Hardcover
I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who has ever thought about the ultimate question of what happens when we die... Especially those who want answers based upon the objectivity of science.
Ever since he was a medical student, Parnia MD, PhD was fascinated by what it is that makes us all unique as individuals, in other words what is the relation between the mind and the brain? Later he was touched by the experience of seeing his patients' die and was left with the question of what happens to the human mind and consciousness at the end of life? Disappointed that science had not seriously tried to study this question, he developed a scientific model i.e. cardiac arrest and started research into this field. This was almost 10 years ago...
This book starts with a review of the subject based upon the literature. Although, this is generally where all other books on the subject stop, he however, goes further by describing how novel research was set up and taking us along with answers obtained from the first ever published scientific study to test the different theories of causation of near death experiences. Parnia's study which was published in the medical journal 'Resuscitaton' has been followed by three other independent studies carried out in the US and Holland and published in top journals such as 'The Lancet'. All these researchers including Parnia have concluded (rather significantly) that the occurrence of "lucid well structured thought processes together with reasoning and memory formation when the brain ceases functioning and the clinical criteria of death are met, suggest that the human mind and
consciousness may continue to function at the end of life...!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marina Muller on 9 July 2007
Format: Paperback
Normally, when I want to buy a book, I am reading other customers reviews and go with the majority opinion ... This time I should have gone with the more critical one. Indeed, the book is promising us "A GROUNDBREAKING STUDY into the Nature of Life and Death". Far from it! Although I think Dr. Parnia is very genuine in his works and studies, here he writes about a future study, and all that is factual described from a study so far are the results from a very limited pilot study. If someone is interested in the problems of funding for groundbreaking, innovative, novel and high-risk studies - read the book. But don't expect answers to the questions that are indicated by the book's title. Up until the last chapter I hoped we will finally get to the groundbreaking study itself ...
I wish Dr. Parnia all the best for his planned study and look forward to read about the results in the future!
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