We open with a hospital scene and Nimoy narrating a "code blue". We learn that this means someone has died in a hospital. We are introduced to Dr. Thomas Rockwell. According to Nimoy, he is on intimate terms with death. He worsk at Santa Monica Hospital in California, and works with up to 90 patients a day who are close to death. The medical deifnition of death has been challenged by science and medical advances. "In the past death was idenitfied as the point in which the heart stopped beating." New technologies are challenging this idea. Some cells in the body can live on after th ehear stops. There are times when the hear can be restarted. I certainly see this is a big issue in 2015, so I'm guessing this may have been a cutting edge idea in 1977. "What is it like to die?" Nimoy poses the question and reminds us that man has asked this question for centuries.
With an eerie introduction, Nimoy reveals we will be hearing not from Doctors or scientists, but from people who have experienced death. This remind me of the old "Faces of Death" series that was made just after the "In Search Of... " series. I agree with Nimoy, the accounts of people who have died and been brought back to life are very interesting. Nimoy describes an example of a story where a person feels like they are falling and then floating above the scene of the accident they just experienced. There is another account that describes strange sounds and lights, and again the floating above. In most cases a strong feeling of euphoria seems to overtake the person. These stories in themselves aren't scary, but the way Nimoy tells them gives a bit of a creepy feeling. Its no wonder that many are reluctant to share these stories.
Next we are introduced to Psychiatrist Dr. Charles Garfield. He has been working with patients who are dying and studying the psychology of death, He is still around working on the same topic! Garfield describes a story of a patient who had an advanced lung cancer and his work with this person. As a result of this experience, the patient decided to counsel cancer patients. This man is named Ruderman and he tells us how he had been given less than two years to live.
|(Ruderman looks a bit like Abraham Lincoln)|
Garfield analyzes the event for us and draws the conclusion that the will to live for his family is what drove Ruderman to heal himself. Yes, Garfield is implying the mind can heal the body. Very interesting, and more than I expected this episode to address.
"Independent accounts of the out of body experience are remarkably similar. What they tell us about the nature of human consciousness may have great significance. The fact that the experience cannot be adequately explained by science has led many to question the finality of death." I can't help but think about Nimoy and what he experienced just a few months ago when I started this blog. Did he remember this episode?
I'm not sure what to think of this episode. It was interesting, and a little creepy. I have no reason to doubt that these folks had these experiences. My own Mother tells similar stories of when she had a heart attack and died for a few moments in 1991. But there does seem to be an element to these stories that feels contrived to me. I believe something happened to these people, but I'm not convinced it was heavenly, supernatural, or anything other than a hallucination. Either way, it was a good episode to get the old mind thinking! Its also a bit different form some of the episodes that came previously.
You can watch this episode "Life After Death" below.