Introduction: “Believing in Near Death Experiences”
There is a detailed account written by a nurse in a coronary care unit: In the wee hours of the night, a 44-year-old cyanotic man came to the hospital in critical condition. He had been found in a coma in a meadow, and brought to the hospital via ambulance. An estimated thirty minutes had passed before his arrival at the hospital. The doctors and nurses immediately intubated him (intubation is a method in which a tube is placed down one’s trachea, and allows the person to breathe artificially).
During the intubation process, the nurse realized that the man had dentures, and she proceeded to remove them. They were placed in the crash cart. The man remained comatose for an hour and a half. However, his heart rhythm and blood pressure stabilized, and he would be transferred to the intensive care unit, where he would continue to breathe artificially (intubated). “Only after more than a week do I meet again with the patient, who is by now, back on the cardiac ward,” writes the nurse in her notes. 14 Something strikingly odd happened next.
The man pointed at the nurse and said: “Oh, that nurse knows where my dentures are.” 14 The nurse was surprised by this response, and the man spoke further and said that the nurse had taken out his dentures and placed them in the crash cart. He would then go on to describe the room they had him in, and the cart with the many bottles on it.
Apparently, in notes the nurse wrote, the man claimed to have an Out of Body Experience (OBE), and he explained that he was floating above the operating room. Shockingly, he was able to describe the situation of his Near-Death Experience with astonishing detail. He described the small room he was in with fantastic detail, and he knew precisely where his dentures were. 14
This event was incomprehensible because he was in a coma, unresponsive, and ultimately, completely unconscious. After the experiences, he began to feel similar to most people who have Near-Death Experiences. He was no longer afraid of death, because he knew there was something beyond death. 14
Skeptics speculate that someone must have informed him, regarding what happened. Perhaps it was a strikingly odd coincidence? Maybe he overheard a conversation regarding the location of his dentures, and the administered drugs could have caused hallucinations? It is also conceivable that the situation was misinterpreted. We are looking from one viewpoint— the nurse’s notes. Could she be biased?
Many people would say there is a logical explanation for this occurrence. Perhaps there is, but what if the man was telling the truth about another world? What if there exists something beyond this world? Are we, as humans, so arrogant that we believe us capable of holding the truths of the universe in the palm of our hands?