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Dr. Melvin Morse On Why Doctors Don’t Listen to Near-Death Experience Accounts

Industry: Science

Interview with pediatrician and near-death experience researcher discusses why it has taken the scientific and medical establishment so long to accept near-death experience

California (PRUnderground) June 1st, 2012

Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with near-death experience researcher and author of, Touched by the Light, Dr. Melvin Morse. During the interview Morse discusses why science has not fully accepted the near-death experience:

Alex Tsakiris: One of the big debates is whether we have veridical evidence of an out-of-body experience.  But to you, as a physician, these kinds of patient accounts are your bread and butter. I mean, that’s what you do whenever you treat someone, you ask, “What happened? What was your circumstance?”   So it’s funny that we don’t give more weight to these reports from physicians.  Like in this case, you knew that she had no way of knowing the information she gave you because you knew what her medical condition was during the time these events occurred, right?

Dr. Melvin Morse:  Well, Alex, you’ve touched on something that has puzzled me really for—I’ve been studying these experiences now for 21 years and I have often wondered why don’t we—and I include myself—why don’t we simply accept this?

As you know, I went on to Seattle Children’s Hospital and we studied every survivor of cardiac arrest and virtually every child that we studied told us of some similar type of experience. I’m wondering why we don’t simply accept it? Oh, okay, here are people who have come to the point of death and they say that they see another reality. They encounter something that we usually define as God. Why don’t we just say, “Oh, okay. Well, that must be what happens when we die.”

In fact, the American Heart Association’s journal, Heart, published that in 1966. That was before even Raymond Moody.  They wrote about survivors of cardiac arrest and they asked the same question. They said this is the last few minutes of life. Why don’t we just simply accept that this is what happens when we die? And yet we don’t. Certainly I didn’t.

After getting patted on the wrist I immediately then started to back-pedal. Maybe it was a hallucination; maybe it was the drugs that she was given; maybe she’s just making this all up because of religious influences and she wants to please her parents. I immediately started to back-pedal. I think that’s what everybody does and I’m not quite sure why. Is it too overwhelming to believe that some of this religious stuff we hear might actually be true?

The Skeptiko interview with Dr. Melvin Morse (audio and transcript) is available at:

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