Verified account of near-death experience in a physician who survived cardiac arrest

Explore (NY). 2021 May-Jun;17(3):213-219. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2020.03.005. Epub 2020 Mar 19.


Research exploring the nature of near-death experiences (NDEs) is extensive. There are a variety of hypothesized mechanisms proposed to explain the origin of the experiences, including hallucinations due to physiological changes in a dying brain. However, there is growing evidence that these theories cannot explain a number of the characteristics of NDEs. In this article we present a detailed and extensively verified case study of a physician, Bettina Peyton, who experienced an NDE during the birth of her third child when she was 32 years old. The data provide additional evidence that supports the hypotheses 1) that during NDEs individuals have sensory perceptual experiences that are not possible according to the materialist framework in which consciousness is solely produced by the activity of neurons in the brain, and 2) that NDEs lead to a fundamental change in their understanding of the nature of consciousness, and in the place of the sacred in their lives.

Keywords: Cardiac arrest; Consciousness; Meditation; NDE; Near-death experience; Transformation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain
  • Child
  • Consciousness
  • Death
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest*
  • Humans
  • Physicians*