A recently published study of 101 cardiac arrest survivors found evidence that near-death and out-of-body experiences are real and do occur among some patients.
The four-year study conducted both in the United States and United Kingdom found that 55 percent of cardiac arrest survivors who completed a two-stage interview "perceived awareness or memories" during and from their monetary unconsciousness despite having demonstrated no clinical signs of consciousness such as eye opening, movement or verbal response during CPR and other resuscitation effort.
Of the 55 percent, 46 percent had memories from their momentary unconsciousness. The memories were classified into seven categories: fear, animals and plants, bright light, violence or persecution, deja-vu, family and recall of events that happened after the resuscitation period.
Nine percent had occurrences that could be classified as near death experiences. Two study participants expressed full "auditory/visual awareness." One of the two participants with full awareness, a 57-year-old man, described having an out of body experience in which he "described the perception of observing events from the top corner of the room and continued to experience a sensation of looking down from above." Medical records corroborate the accuracy of the man's descriptions.
Unconscious memories such as bright lights and near death and out-of-body experiences are a source of controversy among Christians.
Some Christians such as Todd Burpo of the 2010 bestselling book Heaven is for Real credit such experiences as the catalyst for newfound or renewed faith, while others regard such experiences as proof of biblical doctrines about Heaven and Jesus Christ.
Still, others such as Alabama pastor David Platt rebuff such experiences as "fanciful." Platt even went so far as to condemn such stories as "contrary to everything God's word says about Heaven."
The study concluded that the results support other studies indicating that "consciousness may be present despite clinically undetectable consciousness."