First International Medical Conference on the NDE
First International Medical Conference on the NDE held in France June 17, 2006.
COMMON STATEMENT - We are a group of dedicated physicians and scientific researchers working in different scientific fields and from different countries who share a common interest in the subject of near death experiences.
On the occasion of the French International Meeting on Near-Death Experience - organized in Martigues, Saturday June 17, 2006 - we make this public statement regarding our convictions about this phenomenon.
Although, from a scientific standpoint the Near-Death Experience (NDE) is undoubtedly mediated by chemical changes in the brain, its extremely rich and complex content cannot be reduced to a mere illusion or hallucination, that may be produced by the 'stressed' brain at the moment of death. As with the reality of any human experience, the meaning and significance of NDEs cannot be reduced down to the simple neurological processes that accompany its occurrence in the brain. The reality of human experience is not determined neurologically but rather socially.
Exciting recent scientific studies of NDEs have raised many intriguing questions that we hope will be answered by further research and also includes many new concepts about the nature and functioning of human consciousness.
Important publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, such as Nature or The Lancet, have brought larger acceptance of this kind of research in the scientific and medical community.
We believe that more research can contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of NDE, even though it challenges our current concepts on consciousness and brain functioning. We further consider it of the utmost importance that scientists wishing to understand the nature of human consciousness including near death experiences conduct research in scientific fields, notably neurosciences, without prejudice.
The study of Near-Death Experience, as well as other "altered states of consciousness", opens up a new way for multidisciplinary research. This method carries with it hope and progress for humanity.
We sincerely hope that in the near future the medical, scientific and public authorities will be more opened and appreciate better the importance of this kind of research.
Dr Raymond Moody, M.D. Psychiatrist (U.S.A.)
Dr Pim van Lommel, M.D. Cardiologist (The Netherlands)
Dr Sam Parnia, M.D. Ph.D Pulmonary and Critical Care (United Kingdom)
Dr Jean-Pierre Jourdan, M.D. (France)
Dr Jean-Jacques Charbonier, M.D. Anaesthesiologist (France)
Dr Sylvie Déthiollaz, Ph.D. Molecular Biologist (Switzerland)
Dr Mario Beauregard, M.D Neurologist (Canada)
Evelyne-Sarah Mercier, Anthropologist Ph.D. (France)