Definitions for near-death experience
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
any experience involving a vision, as of the afterlife, reported by a resuscitated person.
the experience of being close to death but surviving
A sensation of detachment from one's body, the presence of a tunnel of light, the apparent viewing of one's own body from on high, and similar manifestations, experienced by people whose heart and brain have temporarily ceased to function
A near-death experience refers to personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations including detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, total serenity, security, warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light. These phenomena are usually reported after an individual has been pronounced clinically dead or very close to death. Many NDE reports, however, originate from events that are not life-threatening. With recent developments in cardiac resuscitation techniques, the number of reported NDEs has increased. The experiences have been described in medical journals as having the characteristics of hallucinations, while parapsychologists, religious believers and some scientists have pointed to them as evidence of an afterlife and mind-body dualism. According to the 2013 PLOS ONE article by Thonnard et al., " near-death experiences cannot be considered as imagined event memories. On the contrary, their physiological origins could lead them to be really perceived although not lived in the reality." Popular interest in near-death experiences was initially sparked by Weiss's 1972 The Vestibule, followed by Raymond Moody's 1975 book Life After Life and the founding of the International Association for Near-Death Studies in 1981. According to a Gallup poll, approximately eight million Americans claim to have had a near-death experience. Some commentators, such as Simpson, claim that the number of near-death experiencers may be underestimated. People who have had a near-death experience may not be comfortable discussing the experience with others, especially when the NDE is understood as a paranormal incident. NDEs are among the phenomena studied in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and hospital medicine.
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"near-death experience." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2013. Web. 4 Dec. 2013. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/near-death experience>.