Dr. Sam Parnia, a critical care doctor and the director of resuscitation research at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, has written a new book discussing ways in which people can be resuscitated after they previously would have been considered clinically dead.
“Although most people think this takes place in only four or five minutes, we now know that actually brain cells are viable for up to eight hours … We now understand that it’s only after a person has turned into a corpse that their cells are undergoing death, and if we therefore manipulate those processes, we can restart the heart and bring a person back to life.”
Parnia’s suggestion is not new; in fact, as researcher Jan Bondeson notes in his 2001 book “Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear,” “In 1787 the French doctor Francois Thierry published a book in which he stated his conviction that most people did not die until some time after the onset of traditional signs of death.”
To make sure that the “dead” had really irrevocably passed on, Thierry suggested that all major cities in France should have special “waiting mortuaries,” in which the recently deceased would be laid out in rows on floors or tables and carefully watched by monitors who would wander among the corpses looking for signs of anyone coming back to life.
It was only at the point in which the bodies would begin bloating and putrefying (along with the appearance of maggots and flies) that the corpse would finally be considered dead enough and sent for burial. There is no record of the job turnover rate in the waiting mortuary attendant profession, but it was likely high.
Throughout most of history, medical knowledge of anatomy has been poor and indirect, partly because of fear and taboos against cutting open corpses. Finding the boundary between life and death has concerned humans for millennia; fears of premature burial obsessed many in the Victorian era and in fact some caskets were equipped with tubes and equipment leading to the surface so that bells and flags could be raised to alert groundskeepers in case the “dead” awoke.
Public uncertainty about the line between life and death (and fear of premature burial) was widespread, as Bondeson notes: “By the early nineteenth century, the danger of premature burial had become one of the most-feared perils of everyday life, and a torrent of pamphlets and academic theses were dedicated to this subject by writers all over Europe.
In almost every country, literature on this gruesome topic was readily available, ranging from the solemn medical thesis and the philanthropic call for more waiting mortuaries to pamphlets written by fanatics who claimed that more than 1/10th of humanity was buried alive …”
Compounding the problem, often even the truly dead would not stay buried: in the 1700s and 1800s theft from graveyards was common in London, and grave robbers were making a profit digging up bodies and selling them to anatomists.
Some have suggested that Dr. Parnia is talking about proof of life after death or near-death experiences, but in fact he is simply stating what many doctors have known for decades: Consciousness does not suddenly stop when the heart stops beating and the line between life and death remains murky, even today.
Slaves of Charleston - Beyond Wealth of Jewish South Carolina 2014 09 15
Founded in 1749 in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, the Beth Elohim Synagogue is one of the very earliest synagogues in America. While other synagogues and congregations are also now a part of Charleston city life, Beth Elohim Synagogue is the oldest one in the area and serves as the repository for certain historical artifacts of Jewish life in the city. ...
Martian meteorite yields more evidence of the possibility of life on Mars 2014 09 15
A tiny fragment of Martian meteorite 1.3 billion years old is helping to make the case for the possibility of life on Mars, say scientists.
The finding of a ‘cell-like’ structure, which investigators now know once held water, came about as a result of collaboration between scientists in the UK and Greece. Their findings are published in the latest edition ...
Swedish Surprise: Anti-Immigration Party Surges... 2014 09 15
Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt
Sunday’s election in Sweden was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Left. The Drudge Report ran a piece yesterday from the Guardian entitled: “Free-market era in Sweden swept away as feminists and greens plot new path.” The paper, a left-wing British outlet, published the piece the day before the election; it proved to be, well, ...
UK School to fingerprint students to ‘monitor their diets’ 2014 09 15 STOURBRIDGE, England – A school is implementing a biometric system to better track what students are eating each day.
The Express & Star reports students at Redhill School in Stourbridge, England will be fingerprinted in an attempt to reduce lunch lines and “monitor pupils’ diets.”
The system requires pupils to press a finger against a machine which converts the print into ...
U.S. State Department Orders 160,000 Ebola Hazmat Suits 2014 09 15
The U.S. State Department has ordered 160,000 Hazmat suits for Ebola, prompting concerns that the federal government is anticipating the rapid spread of a virus that has already claimed an unprecedented number of lives.
In a press release posted by Market Watch, Lakeland Industries, a manufacturer of industrial protective clothing for first responders, announced that it had signaled its intention “to ...