Reason #20 The Evidence from Near Death Experiences for a Soul-Mind Beyond the Body
The existence of a soul that continues to function even after death is indicated by credible reports of Near Death Experiences
Recent medical science has made
resuscitation from cardiac death quite common, and there are even a number of
well documented cases on record for full or partial recoveries from brain
death. These advances in medicine have resulted in a growing body of reports
from people who have “experienced death” and are alive today to tell about it.
A number of these reports involve patients who claim to feel somehow removed
from their bodies—having out of the body experiences—sometimes even looking
down at their own bodies from another nearby location. This naturally suggests
the idea of a soul—the “real person” of a human being—which is somehow distinct
from the human body and brain. Of course, we would expect a medicated and
oxygen deprived brain to be subject to hallucination and confusion, but these
expectations do not seem to fully account for the evidence now at our disposal.
well-known case, for example, involves a seven-year-old girl who was found face
down in a YMCA pool. Young Katie had no pulse for 19 minutes, and was
profoundly comatose for three days. When
she awakened from her coma, she addressed the doctor standing next to her bed:
“You’re the guy that saved me. Thank you. Where is the other doctor, the tall
doctor without the beard?”
surprise, the presiding doctor answered, “I’ll go get him for you.” In her
unconscious state, with no apparent upper brain activity, Katie should not have
been able to describe the appearance of her doctors.
also reported that an angel allowed her to view her family while she was in her
coma, and she correctly reported what her mother was cooking for dinner on that
occasion (roast chicken and rice), where her dad, sister, and brother were
sitting in the house, the toys her brother was playing with, and the song her
sister was listening to at the time.
and medication cannot easily account for Katie’s knowledge of these details,
and her experience is not an isolated case.
near death case involves a young man who was diagnosed as clinically dead from
anaphylactic shock. After Dan’s heartbeat ceased, he was resuscitated and
reported that he saw himself lying on the floor while the doctors and nurses
were resuscitating him. He also reported that he saw Jesus, and heard a voice
say, “You have not lived as I intended. Go back and glorify me.” Dr. Bernard J.
Klamecki followed up on Dan’s
experience and found that Dan was so impacted by his Near Death Experience that
he left his homosexual lifestyle and became devoted to a Christian lifestyle.
Habermas recalls the Near Death Experience of a woman who viewed herself from a
vantage point above the scene of her emergency. She reported that she saw
herself being carried to the ambulance on a stretcher, and she noticed
(correctly) the ambulance number that was printed on the rooftop of the
all wish for more conclusive evidence that would either substantiate or refute
reports such as these, but until that kind of evidence is available, the
evidence we do possess favors the existence of the human soul beyond the
mortal body and brain.
The existence of a soul that continues to function even after death is indicated by credible reports of Near Death Experiences.