Probably one of the most important question one can ask is what happens after we die. Is there something more than life? Do we go to Heaven or Hell or do we simply cease to exist? Modern science has strived to find an answer, and it appears that a team of Canadian researcher may have accidently stepped on something truly significant. During a study, the team discovered that the brain might continue to function even after 10 minutes after the individual’s body has failed.
This startling and somewhat unnerving discovery was made thanks to the relentless efforts of a team of scientists from the University of Western Ontario. The discovery might shed some light on what happens at to the individual at the moment of death. Furthermore, the experiment’s conclusion might pose some significant challenges regarding the ethicality of organ harvesting.
If one is to call upon literature, we would have to say that the aftermath of the Canadian group’s death-related experiment is somewhat comparable to the denouement of Edgar Allan Poe’s horror short story entitled The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, where the protagonist convinces his friend to undergo hypnosis prior to his death.
Coming back from the land of fiction to the land of facts, the Canadian groups discovered that the human brain could continue to function even after every system has shut down. More specifically, in one case, the scientists involved in the experiment noted that the brain of a patient who has been declared dead (heart stopped beating and pumping blood), showed increased activity for at least 10 minutes.
After analyzing the EEG results, the Canadian scientists discovered that the brain activity registered had the same form and amplitude as delta waves, brain signals usually associated with deep sleep. This means that the patient might have actually been trapped in a dream, not realizing that he was dead.
However baffling and even frightening this perspective might be, the Canadian group said that this was a one-time occurrence and that the EEG readings might have been influenced by unknown factors. Still, as far as they could tell, the machines did not malfunction during the experiment, and that there are no signs of artifacting.
Could this be the confirmation we were looking for that there is indeed life after death? Perhaps, said the scientists. However, it’s still too early to say if each brain behaves the same way at the moment of death.
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