Remember Hollywood's remake of 90's cult horror movie Flatliners starring Ellen Page, Nina Dobrev, Diego Luna? Remember how a group of young doctors took up a dangerous and challenging task of pausing their heartbeat using chemicals and induced a flatline only to check exactly what happens in the afterlife? Well, a group of scientists are exactly walking along the same route, claiming that a person can remain conscious when they are being declared dead. Therefore, when a person dies, he knows that he is dead and what is more creepy? He can distinctly hear when he is being declared as one.
A team of scientists from New York University Langone School of Medicine, investigated the phenomenon by conducting twin studies of people in Europe and the US, who suffered cardiac arrest but came back to life. Scientists are claiming that there is evidence that proves that when someone who is dead, can actually hear their own death being announced by doctors.
According to study author Sam Parnia, those having near-death experiences can apparently see everything going on in front of their eyes, can also see doctors and nurses working and having full conversations. They can see things which otherwise might not be known to them.
He further added that these recollections were verified by nursing staff who confirmed that their patients who were declared dead, could remember every bit of what they were saying.
How then can a person who is already dead hear all these?
Whether a person is still conscious when dead, still aware of his heartbeat gradually becoming flat or still awake to see him declared dead is a mystery to all of us.
In medical terms, death is defined based on when the heart stops beating, thus cutting off blood supply to the brain. This is how doctors get the time of death, based on when the heart stopped beating.
Brain function stops completely when blood supply is cut off. The person loses brain stem reflexes, gag and pupil reflexes. The brain's cerebral cortex is the centre where thought and information are processed. Once the brain stops functioning, within 20 seconds no brainwaves will be detected on the monitor.
A chain reaction is induced leading to a cellular process, killing brain cells one by one. However, this might take hours after the heart stops beating completely. A cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that was unsuccessful in reviving the patient, can still send around 15 percent blood to the brain that helps it to function normally for a while. The brain, therefore, remains aware of the surroundings although it gradually keeps dying simultaneously, but at a slower rate. The person thus after being declared dead can hear and sense everything going on around him.