Our guest for the first half of the show tonight is Dr. Diane Corcoran, RN, President of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (www.iands.org). She is the Chair of Education and Research Committees, and is currently sponsoring research on combat near-death experiences (NDEs). Dr. Corcoran is a nurse, educator, retired Army colonel, and is currently doing legal nurse consulting. She has served on the board for the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) since 2004, and has written several articles on NDEs for health-care professionals.
Have you ever wondered what happens at the moment of death? Many people have experienced that moment and lived to talk about it. A near-death experience (NDE) is a profound psychological event that may occur to a person close to death or, if not near death, in a situation of physical or emotional crisis. Because it includes transcendental and mystical elements, an NDE is a powerful event of consciousness; it is not mental illness. An NDE may contain powerful images and emotions, usually of peace and love though sometimes terror, despair, and guilt. An NDE may also include an out-of-body experience and vivid perceptions of movement, light, darkness; encounters with loved ones, unfamiliar entities and/or spiritual presences; sometimes a life review, a landscape, a sense of overpowering knowledge and purpose. The after-affects of an NDE are enduring, often powerful and may be life-altering. No two experiences are identical, and no single feature is found in every NDE.
The term “near-death experience” was coined by Dr. Raymond Moody in his book, Life After Life, in 1975; however, the earliest known description of a near-death experience was recounted by Plato in his Myth of Er, found at the end of Book X of The Republic, which was written c. 420 B.C. Accounts can be found in the folklore and writings of European, Middle Eastern, African, East Indian, East Asian, Pacific, and Native American cultures.
In the United States alone, there are more than 774 NDEs everyday. The International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS) was formed in 1981 by a group of researchers subsequent to the outpouring of requests for more information about NDEs.
IANDS and Dr. Corcoran’s website is www.iands.org.
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