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Penny Sartori - The terror of pharmaceutical induced hallucinations

Identifier

012611

Type of spiritual experience

Hallucination (12)

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DAILY MAIL   from 'Is this proof near-death experiences ARE real? Extraordinary new book by intensive care nurse reveals dramatic evidence she says should banish our fear of dying'  By Penny Sartori  Published: 01:36, 25 January 2014

Are NDEs merely hallucinations caused by drugs? Clearly not — as 20 per cent of the patients in my sample, including Tom Kennard, had received no drugs at all.

Indeed, when I analysed my research, I found that pain-killing and sedative drugs, particularly at high levels,  seem to make it less likely that a patient will have an NDE.

In other words, well-meaning doctors who over-sedate dying patients may be denying them a natural and comforting final vision.

Furthermore, I also interviewed 12 patients who’d had drug-induced hallucinations. These were random and often frightening — such as being chased and stabbed with needles by drug dealers — but they bore absolutely no relation to NDEs.

Another theory is that near-death experiences are caused by endorphins, the opiates made by the body itself. But long-distance runners have high levels of endorphins — and none of them have experiences comparable to NDEs.

Moreover, if the body releases endorphins when we die, you’d expect everyone close to death to have a near-death experience.

Nor is it at all likely that NDEs are merely a kind of wish fulfilment, as it is sometimes suggested.

Most occur when a patient is taken ill unexpectedly, rather than contemplating their own death — so the individual simply doesn’t have time to think about  what’s happening.

One thing is clear: research has shown that near-death experiences often lead to a spiritual reappraisal.

Some people undoubtedly become more religious after experiencing one — in a few cases even training for the priesthood.

Others feel that their particular religion no longer adequately supports what was ‘revealed’ or felt during their NDE.

Regardless of what they believe, though, they generally become more considerate of others.
 

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