Two visitors from the nether world?

John S Whitehall
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11133
Published online: 12 December 2011

Temporal lobe stimulation, endorphins, hypoxia, or something else?

I discounted near-death experiences until 20 years ago when I cared for a 7-year-old boy with asthma. He was receiving maximal doses of steroids and salbutamol and we were poised to intubate, but his oxygen and carbon dioxide levels were reasonable and he was not acidotic. His blood pressure and electrolyte and blood sugar levels were normal and he was otherwise healthy, and not taking any other medications.

  • School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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  • 2. Mobbs D, Watt C. There is nothing paranormal about near-death experiences: how neuroscience can explain seeing bright lights, meeting the dead, or being convinced you are one of them. Trends Cog Sci 2011; 15: 247-249.
  • 3. Greyson B. The near-death experience scale: construction, reliability, and validity. J Nervous Mental Dis 1983; 171: 369-375.
  • 4. Morse M, Castillo P, Venecia D, et al. Childhood near-death experiences. Am J Dis Child 1986; 140: 1110-1114.
  • 5. Holden JM, Greyson B, James D. The handbook of near-death experiences. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2009.


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