The strange case of death… and dying.. and the brain.
Doctors in a Canadian intensive care unit have stumbled on a very strange case – when life support was turned off for four terminal patients, one of them showed persistent brain activity even after they were declared clinically dead.
For more than 10 minutes after doctors confirmed death through a range of observations, including the absence of a pulse and unreactive pupils, the patient appeared to experience the same kind of brain waves (delta wave bursts) we get during deep sleep. And it’s an entirely different phenomenon to the sudden ‘death wave’ that’s been observed in rats following decapitation.
To my still somewhat living brain, this doesn’t seem possible..or good in any way!
The brain’s fight to stay alive extends well beyond the time it should.. and does this brain oddity happen more often? If so.. is this what we perceive heaven and hell to be when we have near death experiences? Could the ‘afterlife’ maybe only be the few minutes our brain still churns away and then, afterwards, ceases to exist at some point?
More from Bec Crew:
In the absence of any biological explanation for how brain activity could possibly continue several minutes after the heart has stopped beating, the researchers say the scan could be the result of some kind of error at the time of recording.
But they’re at a loss to explain what that error could be, as the medical equipment show no signs of malfunction, meaning the source of the anomaly cannot be confirmed – biologically or otherwise.
I suppose that is comforting. Look over there! No big deal! Could be instrument malfunctions!
Listen.. this is the biggest albatross hanging over us. Death. We are all dying somehow.. and when we get closer, we try to escape it even more.. but the brain living well beyond death? That seems to be a horrifying possibility .. something that is even more haunting to the senses. Because in theory the brain may still be recording memories, feelings.. all the like.
As Dr. Loomis famously said in Halloween 2, ‘you don’t even know what death is.’ And we don’t now.. and we may never.
…..actually maybe first we need to learn what life is.
The full findings on this study are published here: