About Netwerk NDE (Network Near-Death Experiences)

Netwerk NDE Foundation is the autonomous Dutch branch of IANDS, i.e. the International Association of Near-Death Studies, which has its offices in the USA (www.iands.org). “Autonomous” implies that, whilst agreeing with virtually all policies and actions of IANDS, Netwerk NDE has not to answer for its own policies and actions to IANDS USA. The principal aim of the association with the USA branch of IANDS is the mutual exchange of scientific information.
Netwerk NDE was founded in 1988 (under the name Merkawah) by Pim van Lommel, Nico Vissel, Ruud van Wees, Vincent Meijers and Ina Vonk.

This page refers to the few English articles Netwerk NDE has available; hence the English content of these pages is not the overall translation into English of all articles on this site that are in Dutch.

These English articles follow below. First of all, you will be given a summary and next a link to the article proper.
One of these articles is in html-code, the other two are in pdf: hence these can be downloaded into Adobe Reader or other software that can handle pdf.

Down-to-earth explanation of what happens when dying
In this video of a TEDx presentation the German emergency physician Thomas Fleischmann tells, based on scientific research and his own experience from practice, a clear down-to-earth story about what happens when dying.

Continuing scientific research in the broader context of NDE’s
For a fascinating overview of scientific developments in the past 50 years we refer to the conference of the Research Unit of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences within the University of Virginia (UvA DOPS) on April 12, 2018 at the Tom Tom Founders Festival in Charlottesville, VA on the occasion of their 50-years existence. The panel consisted of Jim Tucker, Bruce Greyson, Edward Kelly, Emily Williams Kelly and Kim Pemberthy, and was moderated by John Cleese.

The NDE as Evidence for Life After Death: a Dialog
An interesting article by Stafford Betty, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at California State University, Bakersfield, in the form of a Dialog between a professor and his student on how the younger generation looks at Life After Death given the general opinions considering what becomes these days more publicly known and the current state of research. It was published in Philosophy Now in Jan/Feb 2007.

A remarkable case of veridical perception
Abstract: The professional near-death literature contains cases in which near-death experiencers reported that during their experiences (NDEs), they perceived phenomena in the material world that, based on the condition and position of their physical bodies, they should not have been able to perceive, and yet these perceptions were subsequently verified as accurate. Only a few of these cases of apparently non-physical veridical perception during NDEs have been carefully researched. In this article, the authors report a case described originally by cardiac surgeon Lloyd Rudy in a YouTube Internet video. They describe their process of following up exhaustively on all avenues of investigation available to us and our conclusion that this case is among the most evidential in which perceptions during an NDE were confirmed as completely accurate by objective observers.

Click here for the article proper (pdf file).

(March 21, 2012)
A new episode in the ongoing controversy about the Pam Reynolds case
Quite recently the Fall Issue 2011 of the Journal of Near-Death Studies has been published. It contains an article by Dutch anesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee, in which he alleges that during her operation she was awake and could have physically heard all the conversations that went on in the OT. In a long response Chris Carter this is refuted by Chris Carter, author of the book Science and the Near-Death Experience. This response is followed by a rejoinder by Woerlee.

In her foreword, Editor Janice Holden, explains:
Scholarly convention and Journal issue space precluded inclusion of replies to Woerlee’s rejoinder. However, the fact that the discussion ends in this issue with the rejoinder is not meant to imply that the dialog has ended or that the controversy has been resolved. Readers are left with the task of evaluating the arguments on both sides and determining for themselves where the weight of evidence predominates. Those interested in ongoing discussion may refer to Carter’s reply to Woerlee’s rejoinder at [the Merkawah site] to be published around the time of this issue’s release.

We, of Merkawah Foundation, are happy to present here Carter’s response: Click here.

The article in The Lancet of 15 December 2001, which launched the NDE into mainstream science

Some people report a near-death experience (NDE) after a life-threatening crisis. We aimed to establish the cause of this experience and assess factors that affected its frequency, depth, and content.

In a prospective study, we included 344 consecutive cardiac patients who were successfully resuscitated after cardiac arrest in ten Dutch hospitals. We compared demographic, medical, pharmacological, and psychological data between patients who reported NDE and patients who did not (controls) after resuscitation. In a longitudinal study of life changes after NDE, we compared the groups 2 and 8 years later.

62 patients (18%) reported NDE, of whom 41 (12%) described a core experience. Occurrence of the experience was not associated with duration of cardiac arrest or unconsciousness, medication, or fear of death before cardiac arrest. Frequency of NDE was affected by how we defined NDE, the prospective nature of the research in older cardiac patients, age, surviving cardiac arrest in first myocardial infarction, more than one cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during stay in hospital, previous NDE, and memory problems after prolonged CPR. Depth of the experience was affected by sex, surviving CPR outside hospital, and fear before cardiac arrest. Significantly more patients who had an NDE, especially a deep experience, died within 30 days of CPR (p < 0,0001). The process of transformation after NDE took several years, and differed from those of patients who survived cardiac arrest without NDE.

We do not know why so few cardiac patients report NDE after CPR, although age plays a part. With a purely physiological explanation, such as cerebral anoxia for the experience, most patients who have been clinically dead should report one.

Click here for the article proper (pdf-file)

The often quoted “Dentures Anecdote” revisited
The anecdote of a clinically dead person who saw his resuscitation from high up (at the ceiling of the resuscitation room) and who noted how the resuscitation team took out his dentures and subsequently lost them. A team of Merkawah found the source of this story and investigated the data thoroughly. The resulting article was published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies.

Abstract: One of the most striking examples of near-death experience stories is the account of a clinically dead patient whose dentures were removed from his mouth prior to resuscitation, and which dentures were then lost. Days later the patient saw a nurse and told him that it was he who had removed those dentures. The patient was right, but he should not have known this information, because at the time the nurse had removed his dentures, the patient was clinically dead. Since publication of this account in a prestigious mainstream medical journal, speculations have abounded. In this article I describe the investigation I undertook to put these speculations to rest and the outcome of that investigation.
Keywords: near-death experience; out-of-body experience; veridical perception; cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Click here for the article proper (pdf file)

(November 2010)
Dentures man story the sequel

Recently, the Summer Issue 2010 of the Journal of Near-Death Studies was published, and its contents mainly focuses again on the famous Dentures Man story. The main article is written by anesthesiologist Gerald Woerlee and his is a strong critique of the article by Smit which was published in the Journal of Near-Death Studies, Vol 27, Number 1, Fall 2008, and which you can also find on this site; it it the previous item on this page.

Since Woerlee has not indicated that he is willing to publish his article on this site, we refer to his own website:


where he gives a full expose of his thoughts on this case. These are basically similar to his views given in the JNDS-article.

Rudolf Smit & Titus Rivas, who were both heavily involved in tracking down the male nurse TG who actually did the resuscitation of the dentures man, have written a rejoinder whose abstract is as follows:

In this article we rejoin Gerald Woerlee’s response in this issue to Smit’s (2008) article, Corroboration of the Dentures Anecdote Involving Veridical Perception in a Near-Death Experience. We show the untenability of his claim that the man whose dentures were lost before his resuscitation in the hospital was initiated, had been conscious virtually all the way from the moment he was found in the meadow up to his transport to the hospital’s cardiac care unit.

Also, we question Woerlee’s claim that the patient constructed an accurate mental picture of objects and persons in the resuscitation room simply by listening to the sounds caused by the actions around his body. In all, we question Woerlee’s materialistic explanations of the out-of-body experience that occurred in this patient’s near-death experience. Our conclusion is straightforward: we consider Woerlee’s claims to be wrong.

Keywords: hypothermia, cardiac arrest, resuscitation, near-death experience, veridical perception

Click here for the article proper (pdf-file)

(5th January 2011)
Latest developments regarding the debate about the dentures man
As may have become clear to the readers of this page, there has been a fairly passionate debate going on between anesthesiologist G.M.Woerlee and his opponents, R.H.Smit and T.P.M.Rivas about the reality factor of this case. Woerlee alleges that the case of the dentures man can be explained entirely in physiological terms, hence cannot account for a real NDE/OBE.

His opponents deny this most emphatically and they base their arguments on the statements made by male nurse TG, whose hands-on experience of the resuscitation of the dentures man cannot by any means be dismissed as a product of his imagination.

However, Woerlee says that his interpretation of the case is based on TG’s testimony as well.

This may lead to confusion for the readers, which is why Woerlee insisted that the original Dutch transcript of the Rivas interview with nurse TG, as well as TG’s own commentary on Woerlee, be translated into English. Woerlee kindly offered to do these translations, which offer was accepted by Smit and Rivas.

The four links below will connect to a pdf-file containing the English translation of the transcript of the long interview of Rivas with nurse TG, as well as TG’s own commentary on Woerlee’s assumptions. The second and third files are the same articles but each of them in table form with numbered paragraphs, both in Dutch and English – the Dutch text on the left, and the English text on the right. We have also added an English translation of Rivas’s rejoinder published in response to a large article by Woerlee on the dentures man case.

1. English Transcript of the Rivas interview with TG,
as well as TG’s commentary on Woerlee

2. English Transcript of the Rivas interview with TG in table form

3. English Transcript of TG’s commentary on Woerlee in table form

4. English Translation of Rivas’s 2008 rejoinder to Woerlee

Near-Death Experience, Consciousness, and the Brain
A new concept about the continuity of our consciousness based on recent scientific research on near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest.

Article by Pim van Lommel in World Futures, 62: 134-151, 2006

Abstract: In this article first some general aspects of near-death experience will be discussed, followed by questions about consciousness and its relation to brain function. Details will be described from our prospective study on near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest in the Netherlands, which was published in the Lancet in 2001. In this study it could not be shown that physiological, psychological, or pharmacological factors caused these experiences after cardiac arrest. Neurophysiology in cardiac arrest and in a normal functioning brain will be explained.
Finally, implications for consciousness studies will be discussed, and how it could be possible to explain the continuity of our consciousness. Scientific study of NDE pushes us to the limits of our medical and neurophysiologic ideas about the range of human consciousness and mind-brain relation.
Keywords: Informational fields of consciousness, mind-brain relation, near-death experience.

Click here for the article proper (pdf file)

Our regular contributor Titus Rivas, MA, MSc, wrote a letter to the Editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies:

Is it Rational to Extrapolate from the Presence of Consciousness During a Flat EE G to Survival of Consciousness After Death?
To the Editor:

A few months ago, I read your review of Jeffrey Long’s important publication, Evidence of the Afterlife, for Noetic Now of the Institute for Noetic Sciences (Holden, 2010). Although you have done an excellent job discussing his book, there is one specific idea about which I probably disagree with you.

Click here for the article proper (pdf file)

Interview with afterlife researcher and philosopher Titus Rivas
Some years ago our regular contributor Titus Rivas was extensively interviewed by Canadian blogger Jimy Sayaka. A very interesting discussion that covered important NDE-cases and cases of the reincarnation type.

Click here for the article (pdf file)

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