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Near Death Experiences

A Personal Look at the IANDS/MD Anderson Cancer Center Conference

NDE Experiences: 30 Years Of Research
October 25-28, 2006, Houston, Texas

The conference took place at MD Anderson’s spacious conference room that is used for their major medical conferences. That setting helped to create the professional atmosphere that was so much a part of this conference. The first two days consisted of a review of the areas of NDE research. Each section was presented by a researcher well known in the field. The sixteen presenters included Dr. Pim van Lommel, Dr. Scott Taylor, Dr. Russell Noyes, Dr. Peter Fenwick, Dr. Raymond Moody, Nancy Evans Bush, Dr. Cherie Sutherland, Dr. Jason MacLurg, Farnaz Ma’sumian, Dr. Bruce Greyson, Dr. Diane Corcoran, Debbie James, Dr. Jan Holden, Dr. Allan Kellehear, and Dr. Jeff Long.
Each researcher prepared a written presentation that is being compiled into a Research Proceedings book that will stand as an analysis of the research to date on NDEs. This book will be ready for purchase later in 2007.

Media was very interested in the conference. It included not only local stations, but freelance writers as well as reporters from regional TV news programs and PBS. Many of the researchers, clinical faculty at MD Anderson, other presenters, and people with NDEs were interviewed by the reporters.

During the noon hour, sandwiches were available for people who wanted to stay to watch the BBC documentary that is being used for education throughout the country, “The Day I Died” or to participate in discussions with other conference participants.

The last two days of the conference started with a keynote presentation and then had concurrent sessions throughout the rest of the day. Many of those concurrent discussions were panel discussions relevant to people with NDEs. Some examples included panels on combat NDEs, NDEs and suicide, childhood NDEs, caregiver challenges, the effect of NDEs on couple relationships and panels of NDErs speaking about their experiences and the aftermath. Concurrent sessions also included research themes such as panels on veridical perception, a five-year prospective hospital study of NDEs in Wales, and research on after-death communications. Another series of presentations dealt with grief and death. Some of those included “why NDEs bring comfort to the ill and bereaved” and “the role of anomalous experiences in healthy grief.”

In the evening, of course, participants were eager to visit with each other about what they had heard during the day and to share their own experiences. There was one free evening to meet with old friends, one banquet dinner with a vocalist as entertainment, one evening talk by hospice physician, Dr. Peralta, and a celebration on the last evening with a Halloween theme. Participants took full advantage of these opportunities to enjoy each other’s company.

In all, the conference was informative, fun, and inspiring. I hope that this summary has inspired you to go to the website,, to pick up tapes of talks that have intrigued you (and to see a full outline of the talks). I also hope that it has encouraged you to attend the next IANDS conference which will be held sometime in 2008. Details will appear on as they are known. Also, there will be a NDE retreat for NDErs March 31-April 8, 2007 in St. Louis, Mo. I went last year and thoroughly enjoyed myself. There are no presentations at the retreat. It is simply an opportunity for NDErs to spend time together, share their lives, and envision the future. If this sounds intriguing to you, you can now register through the website. I would love to see you there!


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