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Observations placeholder

Barrett, Pam - An NDE from a dental procedure



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Leading Canadian Politician Resigns After NDE In Dentist's Office - CBC  - 2-3-2000

 EDMONTON - Pam Barrett, leader of Alberta's New Democratic Party, decided to quit her job Wednesday because of what she calls a near-death experience in a dentist's chair.   Barrett, 46, also decided to quit her seat as a member for Edmonton-Highlands in the Alberta legislature.

Barrett made the announcement a day after she was rushed to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in convulsions from an allergic reaction to dental anesthetic. "My entire body went numb," she told reporters. "My throat swelled up so much I couldn't breathe. I had a near-death experience."

At an emotional news conference, Barrett said she …. had an out-of-body experience, and was rushed to hospital.. ….   She had a second near-death experience at the hospital. She said that was when she decided she had to "find another path." She says she can't explain this sudden conviction that came over her that she must resign from politics.  

"My decision to do this is extremely spiritual," Barrett told a news conference.

  She was asked at the news conference what she saw during the near-death experience. Barrett said, "It was just fine. I've lost my fear of death."

 On the day she announced her resignation, she was supposed to release her own private member's bill aimed at protecting public health care in Alberta. But at a news conference attended by political colleagues and her dentist, Barrett said she needs to take her life in a new direction.

 "I need a new path. I need to do something and I can't tell you what it is and I cannot explain the spiritual connection."  Barrett was tearful and jovial by turns during the news conference. "I will miss all of you -- staff, friends, foes," she said, vowing to stay active in the party.

  Although she was raised a Roman Catholic, Barrett said she would not call herself a religious person. However, as she began to lose consciousness in the dentist's chair she made the sign of the cross over her chest.

 Barrett recalled saying: " I'm going. I'm dying." For a split second she felt dead "and then I came out of it."

Dentist David Oyen said he gave her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and then tried to keep her calm until emergency medical help arrived. Barrett said she suffered two similar "episodes" after she reached the hospital.

  In 25 years as a dentist, Oyen says he's never seen such a severe reaction to the local anesthetic, a needle commonly administered in the gums to "freeze" the mouth.

 Barrett was in his office for a $4,000 capping procedure to enhance her appearance for the next provincial election -- expected as early as next year.  

"We were placing some veneers on her teeth to help improve her looks for an upcoming campaign so she would have a nice smile on posters," Oyen said.  

Party president Les Steel said he respects Barrett's decision, although party members are "saddened and sorry" to see her go.

The source of the experience

Barrett, Pam

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