When a Person Dies, Do They Have 7 Minutes?

Death 7 minutes cover

Death is very much a scary event that every being has to undergo and the rest of the living beings witness others passing away but at the same time, it is truly mysterious as every creature dies at some point yet even after centuries we are unable to decipher what exactly happens in our brain as life exits the body. Though there is no way for us to monitor this, as nobody can return from death, or can they? Throughout the world, there are people who were clinically dead for some time and then came back to life and they describe something that is not understood by science and as for the statement that says a person has 7 minutes after death, is it even true?

How is the brain alive?

To begin to even describe death is quite controversial, but speaking from a scientific perspective when the brain completely dies orĀ  “flatlines” it is considered as true death. As for being alive, when our neurons are functioning and working constantly we are alive. These are the messengers of the brain. They use electrical impulses to send information in the form of signals in the brain and between the nervous system. So it is safe to say that neurons are the mechanism that keeps us alive and of course they require oxygen and fuel to exist. Additionally, scientists have also seen that neurons during birth are at a different location in our brain and they continue to migrate as we age till they reach their final destination.

Illustration of Neuron network

Illustration of Neuron network.

The Studies

As for the case of 7 minutes after death, some scientists fully accept it as true and go as far as to say that for different individuals, death may be different and cause them to exceed this limit, while others simply say it as soon as the monitor shows a flatline there is no activity whatsoever and it is lights out. Yet there are various cases of resuscitation and other examples that state the former is correct.

  • In a hospital in Canada, life support was sustaining four patients who were terminally ill and the doctors had no choice but to get them off life support and relieve them. The life support was turned off and as expected, three of them bid farewell, however, doctors got shocked when they observed that one patients’ brain showed clear activity. To reconfirm it, they did all the observations and found everything pointing to the death with the absence of pulse and unreactive pupil. If that was not strange enough, the patient’s brain exhibited delta waves similar to when someone is in sleep and continued to do so for some time. Though unable to reach any conclusion, researchers state that this could be due to a malfunction of the equipment.
Brain wave delta

Chart of various brain waves.

  • In a different study, scientists claim that if a person is to be resuscitated, they may even have a greater brain function as is often seen in the examples of people who were brought back to life after being declared dead. This study states that the person’s consciousness and cognition continue to be intact several minutes after the body has been dead, ie; stopping of the heart and unresponsiveness of the body and in theory, if the body could be repaired in that small window a person can be brought back to life, though it is an absurd thought. However, what is bizarre is that according to experts the brain might still be able to recognize what is happening around the body and could even hear doctors declare them dead.
  • A simple explanation for this could be that just like our heart when it stops receiving oxygen it eventually stops, so is the case with neurons and other cells of the body. It is certain that each and every part of our body requires oxygen and just like the heart, they get starved of it and slowly start to die, perhaps it is these neurons that keep on firing signals as they die. However, what is certain is that our genes are kept intact for several days even after death but I suppose that is to be expected.
  • As the people who are revived may experience something known as near-death experience and the world is full of people that have experienced something along those lines. They claim that they saw a tunnel, bright light, heaven, or Jesus Christ himself. These all are regarded as significant moments in spirituality, however, actual masters simply dismiss them and state that our mind is capable of producing such experience, it is just that being in such a position where death seems certain, we lose control over our mind and it results in these vivid experiences.
Tunnel light

A picture of a tunnel representing a near-death experience.

Ultimately, whatever happens after death is still mysterious and as for those 7 minutes, yes they are true. We do have approximately seven minutes before we are completely dead but we lose control of our body, and there’s nothing much one can do in that time so to consider death even prior to seven minutes wouldn’t be that much different.


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