Pasbanan-             Probably the scariest thing about death is the fact that we don’t know what happens afterwards. It’s pretty intense, isn’t it? No wonder so many people believe in an afterlife it seems much more optimistic than the idea of your consciousness just switching off.

OK, we’ve all been in the grip of a hellishly grim hangover and joked about looking forward to the sweet release of death, but usually that’s easily sorted by a day on the sofa, staring at the telly and occasionally scranning a gobful of comfort food. No existential dread or pining for the light at the end of the tunnel required. Well, now scientists believe they’ve found out what happens to your brain after you die, and in all honesty I’m not sure the news is any more cheery.

According to LiveScience, Dr. Sam Parnia of New York University Langone School of Medicine has discovered that a person’s consiousness continues to function after they’ve died. OH GOOD.  Dr. Parnia and his team investigated a series of studies on cardiac arrest victims who have later ‘come back to life’.

“They’ll describe watching doctors and nurses working and they’ll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them,” said Dr. Parnia.

Their recollections were also verified by medical staff who reported their patients could remember the details. It’s been compared to the recent remake of psychological horror movie Flatliners, which starred Ellen Page. It tells the tale of a group of young doctors who take turns stopping their hearts to see what happens in the afterlife. No, doesn’t sound like a great idea to me either.

The medical definition of death is when the heart ceases to beat, cutting off the blood supply to the brain and preventing it from keeping the body alive. According to Dr. Parnia, the cerebral cortex (also known as the ‘thinking’ part of the brain) then instantly slows down and flatlines within two to 20 seconds, resulting in the death of the brain.


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