Contrary to popular belief, death is not a moment in time, such as when the heart stops beating, respiration ceases, or the brain stops functioning. Death, rather, is a process - a process that can be interrupted well after it has begun. Innovative techniques, such as drastically reducing the patient's body temperature, have proven to be effective in revitalizing both the body and mind, but studies show they are only employed in approximately half of the hospitals throughout the United States and Europe.
In Erasing Death, Dr. Sam Parnia presents cutting-edge research from the front line of critical care and resuscitation medicine that has enabled modern doctors to routinely reverse death, while also shedding light on the ultimate mystery: what happens to human consciousness during and after death. Parnia reveals how medical discoveries focused on saving lives have also inadvertently raised the possibility that some form of "afterlife" maybe uniquely ours, as evidenced by the continuation of the human mind and psyche in the first few hours after death. Questions about the "self" and the "soul" that were once relegated to theology, philosophy, or even science fiction are now being examined afresh according to rigorous scientific research.
With physicians such as Parnia at the forefront, we are on the verge of discovering a new universal science of consciousness that reveals the nature of the mind and a future where death is not the final defeat, but is in fact reversible.
©2013 Sam Parnia (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
Being in the acute care setting for my entire carreer as an ER/ICU/CCU nurse, this got me thinking. Although it didn't explain much of what I already knew, the case studies were great. It still left me wanting more information, but it may be impossible to get more unless there are subjects who would agree to die and come back to life.
Sam Parnia is a credible man of science who takes on a tough subject. His approach is as he was trained and he recounts his success and his troubles with a fair hand. The book is thought provoking and worth the read.
The author talks about numerous aspects of death (cardiac arrest, full-brain stroke, philosophical and religious beliefs of different groups), but what makes this book interesting is that the author is trying to advance objective, scientific knowledge about death by defining new standards across the medical community for the stages of the death process. With these standards, the author outlines approaches to better understand how to reverse the death process, and limitations and ethical considerations for taking these steps in actual medical cases.
I would compare it to books like the Omnivore's Dilemma, but only because it affected my view on death in a similar way to how the Omnivore's Dilemma affected my view of food, and the food system.
The first-hand interviews of people who experienced cardiac arrest was inspiring.
The material is light enough that you probably could listen to this all in one sitting.
Death isn't a moment, it is a process, and until we start thinking about death in these terms we are likely going to miss out on the potential for new advances in medical care and deeper understanding of who we really are.
Interesting, thought-provoking, detailed.
Of course, personal stories of people who had After-death Experiences were very compelling. In addition, this book was very well researched. The author goes into great detail about relevant medical processes, advances in resuscitation medicine (fascinating), as well as a good review of the history of philosophy regarding the end of life. The necessary tie between ADE's (After-death Experiences) and medical science is very clear. Another important issue he addresses is the need for standardization of resuscitation procedures across all medical facilities, and regulation to monitor them. He describes the huge number of lives and functional brains that could be saved if the current knowledge was universally implemented. He uses an excellent analogy of how the airline industry has become dramatically more safe since safety advances have been implemented as industry-wide standards, and regulation has made them mandatory.
The narrator is ok, not great. I realize this is a detailed non-fiction book, but the narration seemed a bit stiff.
A description of a life review a man experienced where he could feel how he had hurt others in life, and how the loving being that accompanied him reassured him that, "you are human, and this is what humans do", and that the judgement of his behaviors was his only - not made by someone else.
Due to the great detail in this book, it might have been a little difficult to get through reading traditionally. However, all the information was relevant and interesting, and it made for a very good audio book.
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