Could dead people feel and hear?

sg at vax.oxford.ac.uk sg at vax.oxford.ac.uk
Thu Apr 6 14:28:17 EST 1995


In article <3lroes$oga at strix.vslib.cz>, salda at falco.vslib.cz (George Sulovsky) writes:
> Hi!
> Could anyone say mee, if dead people could hear and feel
> I have heard, that 2 hours after death person could hear and feel, 
> but not understand.
> Is that true?

The question is interesting (isn't it?) and there is no a straightforward
answer. The problem lays in the definition of death, because death
is a process in time, not an instantaneous event. Even so called 
"instant death" is not instant, unless the person's body is completely
destroyed (in a nuclear explosion, for example).

The answer will be different for different causes of death and
will depend on where you draw the line (from what moment you start
to count the time). The extreme point of view can be that a cancer
patient started to die when the tumor started to grow, so he has been
practically dead for many years, but could hear, and feel, and talk, 
and drink beer, and so on. However, in the most common sense, a dead 
person cannot hear and feel due to a loss of consciousness
(in the same way as an anesthetised alive person cannot hear and
feel if the dose of anaesthetic is high enough).

............................SG...................................





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