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May 18, 2010

Dr. Jeffrey Long Defends Near Death Experiences

Dr. Jeffrey Long Takes On Critics of, Evidence of the Afterlife

March 25, 2010

Near-Death experience researcher Dr. Long offers a point-by-point response to skeptics of his New York Time best seller, "Evidence of the Afterlife".

When near-death experience researcher Dr. Jeffery Long decided to publish his 10-year study of NDEs he knew there would be controversy, and critics. His conclusion, that consciousness survives bodily death and moves to an afterlife, is unsettling to many within a medical community built on death being absolute and final. But rather than shy away from critics, Dr. Long has engaged them.

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an in-depth interview with near-death experience researcher, Dr, Jeffrey Long. During the 45-minute interview Dr. Long offers a point-by-point response to skeptics of his New York Time best seller, Evidence of the Afterlife.

In response to the criticisms of former Skeptiko guest Dr. G.M. Woerlee, Dr. Long said, “I think one of the biggest defenses from people that don’t believe in an afterlife, and this was brought out in your interview with Dr. Woerlee, is this barrier where they won’t hear it. They won’t respond to it. It’s just not something they care to address, which is somewhat surprising. I think all scholarly discussion of really any topic requires an open-minded dialogue about the evidence. It really starts with evidence.”

Regarding speculation that NDEs result from regaining consciousness during CPR chest compressions, Dr. Long said, “When you talk to the patients who have actually survived CPR one thing that is very, very obvious is that the substantial majority of them are confused or amnesic when they’re recovered. If you read even a few near-death experiences, you immediately realize essentially none of them talk about episodes of confusion when they just don’t understand what’s going on. You really don’t see that at all. In fact, our research found that 76% of people having a near-death experience said their level of consciousness and alertness during the NDE was actually greater than their earthly, everyday life. So, you have to come away with the conclusion that even if there’s blood flow to the brain induced by CPR, it’s not correlated with the level of consciousness and alertness reported during near-death experiences.”

Dr. Long continues, “But also, in addition, the substantial majority of people that have a near-death experience associated with cardiac arrest are actually seeing their physical body well prior to the time that CPR is initiated. Once CPR is initiated, you don’t see any alteration in the flow of the near-death experience, suggesting that blood flow to the brain isn’t affecting the content in any way.”

Dr. Long also discusses the nature of NDE skepticism, “The other issue I’ve seen with skeptics is they often have their pet theory. Their theory of how the world works, how things work, and it’s very, very difficult to dislodge them from their pet theory, even with overwhelming evidence.”

In the end Dr. Jeffery Long believes in his evidence, “I have confidence in the substantial majority of people. When they hear evidence, and it’s presented in a straightforward way, they’re smart enough to understand what’s real evidence and what’s evasiveness.”

Jeffrey Long, M.D., is a near death experience researcher and physician (radiation oncology). His book, ‘Evidence of the Afterlife’ (HarperCollins), was published in 2009.

Read the interview and listen to the podcast here.