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What Happens When We Die?: A Groundbreaking Study into the Nature of Life and Death
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What Happens When We Die?: A Groundbreaking Study into the Nature of Life and Death

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  131 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Dr. Sam Parnia faces death every day. Through his work as a critical-care doctor in a hospital emergency room, he became very interested in some of his patients’ accounts of the experiences that they had while clinically dead. He started to collect these stories and read all the latest research on the subject, and then he decided to conduct his own experiments. That work h ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2007 by Hay House (first published September 2005)
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Aug 14, 2016 Owlseyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cindy Knoke
Jul 21, 2012 Cindy Knoke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sam Parnia is interesting.
What this man has accomplished is unusual.
While he was still in the early years of his medical training he was asking the same questions I was only thinking about.
He completed his medical education, got his MD, completed his residencies, fellowships, etc, in internal medicine and pulmonology, pursued and received an additional Ph.D. in cellular biology, all the time while pursuing the research that interested him but annoyed his colleagues, namely what is this NDE (N
Jonathan-David Jackson
This was a good book, but it left me with more questions than I had when I started it. I also felt a bit misled by the subtitle A Ground-Breaking Study into the Nature of Life and Death, because by the end of the book you find out that the study has not actually taken place, and in fact they don't even have funding for it yet. Thankfully, with a bit of internet research after reading the book I found out that they did eventually receive funding and now are actually 4 years into the study, with r ...more
Dec 19, 2011 Renee' rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first saw the author on the Dr. Oz show. His methods of trying to scientifically prove that near death experiences are real prompted me into reading the book. I liked the personal stories of the near death experiences and found it fascinating. The book got to be a little too scientific at times but I still enjoyed it.
Simcha Wood
May 10, 2013 Simcha Wood rated it it was ok
This book seems to me to be a bit of a mess, though my opinion has been, perhaps, to some degree influenced by the expectations I had before reading it. I was expecting a fairly straight-up work of popular science aimed at covering current theories that attempt to explain the phenomena of near death experiences (NDEs). I was expecting, in other words, a book that explored NDEs from some perspective other than that usually found on basic cable channels, wedged between documentaries on bigfoot and ...more
Nov 16, 2011 Ronnie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the idea that a doctor is doing empirical research into the nature of near death experiences and my very positive disposition is why I give the book two stars and not one. As others have pointed out the book would have been more interesting if a study had actually been completed. As it stands its a very odd mix of personal and emotional self promotion, a description of the kind of study the author would like to conduct and a simplistic philosophical consideration of the nature of t ...more
Feb 13, 2015 Fiona rated it liked it
I found some of the ideas in this book quite challenging.

The author argues that people can be successfully resuscitated for extended periods of time, over an hour, after cardiac arrest. He discusses ways that delivery of cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be improved, such as cooling the person who has had the cardiac arrest to slow down brain damage and ICU management to reduce damage from ongoing processes of cellular death in the subsequent hours. Another way discussed was to use oxime
Jan 09, 2015 Antoine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um bom livro, resumindo o que até hoje se sabe sobre as Experiências de Quase Morte (EQMs). Assume-se cientificamente a possibilidade de que a consciência e a mente sejam entidades físicas separadas do cérebro, ainda que ligadas a eles.

Em suma, o livro arrazoa que:

Não sabemos o que acontece quando as pessoas morrem ou estão morrendo. Há relatos de pessoas que viveram EQMs e há estudos em andamento para comprovação do fenômeno. Há esperança de que haja tecnologia e conhecimento suficiente para ch
Mar 02, 2011 Yak rated it did not like it
Never finished it -- purportedly a scientific examination of near-death experiences, but really doesn't shed much light on the phenomenon; more of a grandstand by the author, who injects his excitement and other feelings far too often.
Jan 23, 2016 Frank rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What Happens When We Die purports to provide and summarize new scientific findings and research about Near Death Experiences (NDEs).

While the text at first seems promising, it becomes apparent midway through that author Sam Parnia has relatively little to say. Instead of substance and fresh objective research about NDEs, Parnia provides little more than summaries of previous NDE studies, anecdotes, and his own speculations about future NDE and consciousness experiments. As an example, the book i
Jun 09, 2012 Allen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing the book I can see a bit why people are so perplexed by Dr. Parnia's book. It seems to me that the book in and of itself was a story about how challenging it was just to be able to propose and get funding for the research in a climate of scientific intolerance despite the fact that there appears to be strong evidence for survival.

Along the way he tries to take us on a personal journey, but that doesn't seem to appeal to any of the readers because I don't think we learn anything f
Susan Neufeldt
Mar 01, 2013 Susan Neufeldt rated it it was amazing
Excellent and readable analysis of how the ability to resuscitate people has enabled some people to be revived intact mentally and physically nearly an hour after their hearts stop beating, though hospitals have not yet been required to implement these procedures in the U.S. After detailing those advances the author describes scientific endeavors to understand "near-death experiences"-- technically after death experiences--reported internationally since the time of Plato. Takes on questions such ...more
Mar 14, 2009 Jamie rated it liked it
A very strong start. In the first half, Parnia describes several freaky near-death experiences in detail and ties them together using their universal themes and imagery. The book is written in basic, sixth-grade-level language, which is actually good, because when he started breaking down brain function into quantum physics, my right-brained self needed the simplistic elementary prose. I learned a lot about thought processes and brain function, but the end left me wanting -- though I imagine any ...more
Sumit Singh
Jul 21, 2016 Sumit Singh rated it really liked it
Very Interesting
Jun 12, 2012 زينب rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I got really disappointed by this book. I had to read through tons of pages waiting when he will mention the results of his experiment. But in the end he was like I am still collecting funds and will hopefully do the experiment in the near future!
It was interesting and all but disappointing and contained lots of details mentioning very basic knowledge everyone knows. Not to mention he kept repeating the same points over and over again...
Maggie Ferguson
Mar 11, 2014 Maggie Ferguson rated it it was amazing
Folkloric study of NDE's. Open-minded comfort may be what is needed.
Apr 30, 2016 Sue rated it it was ok
Shelves: esoteric
Nothing new here.
May 16, 2013 John rated it liked it
Nah. The big experiment he wanted to do, the experiment that would have shed most light on his topic, never gets done! Wikipedia could easily serve as a similar and much quicker read resource. Don't bother
May 16, 2011 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been interested in the topic, due to the similarities that people experience when they are close to death and resuscitated.

I look forward to reading research going forward on the topic.
Rachel Merritt
Intriguing...makes you think about the nature of consciousness. An easy read - and the personal NDE accounts he relates in the book are very interesting.
Apr 28, 2011 Diana rated it it was ok
It would've been better if the doctor had COMPLETED his study before writing a book about the subject...
Christi Lupher
Another of Sam Parnia's books that I skipped a lot of the medical bits on but overall found very interesting.
Anthony Youn
Oct 25, 2011 Anthony Youn rated it it was ok
Would have been much more interesting had the research been completed prior to writing the book.
Mar 20, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nancy by: MSNBC - Author was on
It was a very interesting breakdown of medical data combined with NDEs.
Feb 20, 2012 Janet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Tammy marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2016
OPAL LAVONNE DUBOIS marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2016
Barry  Kravette
Barry Kravette marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2016
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