Could the dead hear and feel?
carswell at acpub.duke.edu
Sun Apr 9 15:24:17 EST 1995
Charles Hokanson (Phnxbmed at ix.netcom.com) wrote:
: While the original question and content of the text seem more
: appropriate to a religious or philisophical mewsgroup, it does raise and
: interesting issue, That of the definition of death. It has long been
: accepted that the clinical signs of death are lack of vital signs, ie.
: heart beat and brian wave activity. And that in the absense of these
: for some length of time, cell and tissue death occur. It had been
: thought that this process occurs rather rapidly (minutes). However,
: this process can be slowed (or stopped?) by substantially reducing the
: temerature of the body.
: A recent TV program showed a surgical procedure in which the heart and
: brainwave activity of a patient were totally stopped for one hour. Half
: of the blood was removed from the body to reduce the pressure of a very
: large brain aneurysm. Once the aneurysm had been deflated, it was
: clamped off. The temperature of the patient was gradually increased,
: and the vital signs were all restored. Apparently, thousands of similar
: procedures have been performed in Russia for many years, utilizing
: hypothermia techniques.
: Therefore, back to the original question, Can the dead hear or feel? It
: would seem to depend on your definition of death. The woman who
: underwent the procedure neither heard nor felt while she was "dead' by
: normal clinical standards. And the absence of brain wave activity would
: seem to indicate that she did not think either. However subsequently
: she lived.
: It would seem therefore that a definition of clinical death would have
: to include a refernce to cell, tissue and organ death, such that when
: sufficient cell, tissue and organ death has occured, the host organism,
: human in this case, can not be restored to life.
: As to the many reported cases of, out of "body experiences" and "white
: light experiences" of people who presumably died and then supposedly
: come back to life, there is sufficient scientific evidence to debunk
: this nonsense as nothing more than lack of oxygen, and/or reaction to
: anestheic gases.
: Finally, as to the religious answer, I don't know what other religions
: teach, however since you mentioned a catholic, and presumably
: judeo-christian perspective, I refer you to Ecclesiastes Chapter 9
: Verses 5 and 6:
: " For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at
: all. They have no further reward and even the memory of them is
: forgotten. Their love, their hate, their jealousy have long since
: vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens
: under the sun."
: and Job 19: 25,26 :
: "I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon
: the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will
: see God."
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