|Here is our Seattle
IANDS bibliography aimed at
health care providers and representing books published in the 1980s
and 1990s. Feel
free to copy and use this bibliography as long as you adhere to the
copyright notice attached at the end:
of the Seattle International
Association for Near-Death Studies
Health Care Provider Version
Fortunately the days are long gone when
people who talk about their near-death experiences (NDEs) are routinely judged insane or
committed to some institution to be "cured." With people less reticent to be
open about this common human experience, it becomes important for health care
professionals and others to be aware of the literature available to help people understand
what has happened to them and how to handle it. These authors have been chosen primarily
for their academic or medical credentials. Their books are useful for helping understand
what a near-death experience is and how to assist people who have had an NDE learn how to
process their experience.
Critics and skeptics who dismiss stories
of near-death experiences as delusions and the stuff of tabloid journalism are generally
ignorant of the substantial body of work that exists today, of which this bibliography
lists only a sample. Health care providers who consider near-death experiences something
to be "treated," ridiculed or dismissed are doing a professional disservice to
the patients in their care. It is a sign of trust when your patients share these
experiences with you. If you want to understand how to help them process their
experiences, then this bibliography is for you.
Seattle IANDS is the oldest and
largest chapter of the International Association for Near-Death Studies
(abbreviated IANDS). Led by Kimberly Clark Sharp, the group meets the first Saturday of
each month at 1:00 PM in Seattle, see http://seattleiands.org for location and directions. For further information
about Seattle IANDS, call 206-525-5489, e-mail email@example.com or write to Seattle IANDS,
PO Box 84333, Seattle, WA 98124. For information about the International Association for
Near-Death Studies, please access their web site at www.iands.org.
Please note that the bibliography
annotations do not necessarily represent the views of IANDS or Seattle IANDS. Inclusion on
the list does not constitute endorsement of the book by either organization. Books are
selected for this list based on their near-death experience content. If there are books
you feel should be added to this bibliography, please write to the Bibliography Editor at
Seattle IANDS, PO Box 84333, Seattle, WA 98124. This is the version for Health Care
Providers, dated 03/15/98.
These authors provide a wide range
of viewpoints on the NDE and its implications.
P.M.H. Atwater, Lh.D., is a
three-time near-death survivor and a near-death researcher.
Mally Cox-Chapman is a Yale political science graduate who has written for
Time-Life books and other national publications.
Judith Cressey, Doctor of Ministry in theology and counseling, has conducted NDE
workshops for hospitals.
Betty J. Eadie documented her profound near-death experience in a book that topped
best seller lists in 1992.
Evelyn Elsaesser Valarino is head of the law library at the
University of Geneva.
Bruce Greyson, M.D., is a professor of psychiatric medicine at the University of
Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, VA.
Carl Jung, Ph.D, was a pioneer researcher in psychology who had an NDE before there
was a label for them.
Yvonne Kason, M.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and
Community Medicine at the University of Toronto and is on the staff of three Toronto
Pamela M. Kircher, M.D., had a near-death experience in her youth and has worked as
a family practice physician, a hospice physician and as a clinical instructor at Baylor
College of Medicine.
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D., is an internationally known thanatologist who
pioneered the field of death and dying.
Craig Lundahl, Ph.D., is chairman emeritus of the Department of Social Sciences at
Western New Mexico University.
Raymond Moody, M.D., Ph.D., defined the phrase "near-death experience" in
his 1975 seminal work, Life After Life.
Melvin Morse, M.D., is a Seattle pediatrician and medical professor who has
researched NDEs in children.
Maurice Rawlings, M.D., is a cardiologist whose NDE books contain a conservative
Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology who founded IANDS and has studied
George Ritchie, M.D., is a psychiatrist whose profound NDE in 1943 influenced Dr. Raymond Moody to study near-death experiences.
Michael Sabom, M.D., is a cardiologist whose skepticism about the validity of NDEs
was overcome by his patients.
Susan Schoenbeck, R.N., has had many manuscripts published in professional journals
and is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin.
Kimberly Clark Sharp, M.S.W., has had an NDE, founded Seattle IANDS and has taught at
the University of Washington medical school.
Cherie Sutherland, Ph.D., was a visiting research fellow in sociology at the
University of New South Wales and has had an NDE.
Carol Zaleski, Ph.D., is a professor at Smith College who has written about ancient
and medieval NDEs.
These books are arranged alphabetically by
Coming Back to Life, P. M. H.
Atwater, 1988, Ballantine Books, New York, NY.
This is a very helpful work wherein the author, a three-time near-death experiencer,
devotes many pages to the aftereffects of an NDE and the task of readjusting to life. She
includes an extensive list of resources to help both experiences and counselors.
Beyond the Light, P. M. H.
Atwater, 1994, Birch Lane Press, New York, NY.
In this scholarly work the author categorizes near-death experiences and traces their
effects on peoples lives. She helps the reader understand the varieties of
near-death experiences and the different effects they can have on people.
The Case for Heaven, Mally
Cox-Chapman, 1995, Putnum, New York, NY.
Subtitled Near-Death Experiences as Evidence of the Afterlife, this book focuses on
what near-death experiences suggest to us about the nature of heaven. Besides chapters on
health care and the aftereffects of NDEs, the author has an intriguing chapter on what
happens when people who dont believe in heaven have NDEs.
The Near-Death Experience: Mysticism
or Madness, Judith Cressy, 1994, Christopher Publishing, Hanover, MA.
Dr. Cressy had an NDE as an adult and had some difficulties with the aftereffects. So she
wrote this book "to make certain that NDEers receive the compassionate personal and
professional treatment they deserve as they struggle to return to life from the brink of
Embraced by the Light, Betty J.
Eadie, 1992, Gold Leaf Press, Placerville, CA.
This is an unusually detailed story of a 1973 full blown near-death experience that took
place in the Seattle area. While most books about one persons near-death experience
major in the person and minor in the experience, Betty devotes most of the book to telling
what she saw and learned during her life changing NDE.
On The Other Side of Life: Exploring
the Phenomenon of the Near-Death Experience, Evelyn Elsaesser Valarino, 1997,
Plenum Press, New York, NY.
This book is a thoughtful and penetrating theoretical and philosophical examination of the
NDE and its implications by persons who have achieved eminence in various fields of
science as well as philosophy and religious thought.
The Near-Death Experience: Problems,
Prospects, Perspectives, Bruce Greyson, M.D., 1984, Charles C. Thomas,
This anthology samples the more significant scholarly forays into the near-death
experience. The contributions by six M.D.s, eight Ph.D.s and three other medical
professionals focus more on academics than on NDE stories. This book is available at some
Memories, Dreams, Reflections, C.
G. Jung, edited by Aniela Jaffe, 1969, Random House, New York, NY.
This pioneering psychologist describes his NDE in chapter 10, entitled Visions. Dr.
Jung had an NDE and had the integrity to report it, but didnt recognize it as what
we now call a near-death experience. Other books on Dr. Jung have documented his
A Farther Shore, Yvonne Kason,
M.D, 1994, HarperCollins Publishers, Toronto, Canada.
A Farther Shore combines the dramatic story of the authors NDE (which
occurred while she was serving her medical residency) with broad research into the
physical, psychological and paranormal effects on patients of what she terms
"STEs" - spiritually transformative experiences.
Love is the Link, Pamela M.
Kircher, M.D., 1995, Larson Publications, Burdett, NY, 14818.
Dr. Kircher is a seasoned hospice doctor whose NDE as a youngster has contributed to her
understanding of the spiritual experiences of her patients. She covers many topics,
including what care givers should know about what dying people can see and hear and the
lasting effects and adjustment problems following near-death experiences.
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, M.D., has
published 21 books of death and dying and is a pioneer in this field. Her books are
readily available in libraries and bookstores. Several of her titles are: On Death and
Dying, Reflections on Death and Dying and Death is of Vital Importance
(which is her latest book).
The Eternal Journey: How Near-Death
Experiences Illuminate Our Earthly Lives, by Craig R. Lundahl, Ph.D. and Harold
Widdison, Ph.D., 1997, Warner Books, New York, NY.
The Eternal Journey offers a comprehensive look at existing documentation on
near-death experiences. Dr. Lundahl taught the first course offered exclusively on the
near-death experience at an American university.
Life After Life, Raymond Moody,
M.D., 1975, Bantam Books. New York, NY.
This is the classic work that started the movement that brought us to where people can be
open and honest about what happens at the point of death. Coining the phrase
"near-death experience," Dr. Moody defines what happens to many people when they
come close to physical death.
Reflections of Life After Life, Raymond
Moody, M.D., 1977, Bantam Books, New York, NY.
Dr. Moody adds new material to his 1975 classic, answers criticisms and explains his
research techniques. In one chapter he cites near-death experiences from other centuries
and other cultures. The largest chapter in the book is devoted to answering questions from
medical and academic colleagues who had read Life After Life.
The Light Beyond, Raymond Moody,
M.D., 1988, Bantam Books, New York, NY.
In this intriguing follow up to his 1975 classic, Dr. Moody includes suggestions on
helping NDEers readjust to life, explains why NDEs are not mental illness and documents
the activities of a number of NDE researchers. He incorporates new findings concerning the
near-death experience from the fields of medicine, psychiatry and sociology.
Closer to the Light, Melvin
Morse, M.D., 1990, Villard Books, New York, NY.
This very readable book is subtitled Learning From Childrens Near-Death
Experiences and covers medical research done in Seattle hospitals. Much of the value
of this book is its focus on young children, who are implicitly more believable than
adults. Dr. Morse concludes, based on his research with children, that his "findings
eliminated the theory that NDEs are the result of drugs or sleep deprivation or that they
are merely bad dreams or the subconscious awareness of surgery."
Transformed by the Light, Melvin
Morse, M.D., 1992, Villard Books, New York, NY.
Subtitled The Powerful Effect of Near-Death Experiences on Peoples Lives,
this book examines the changes that often take place in those who have had near-death
experiences. Dr. Morse documents interesting aftereffects, such as problems wearing
watches or with lights or electrical appliances. He shows how his studies validate NDEs as
genuine human experiences, not delusions or hallucinations. At the end of the book, Dr.
Morse includes a helpful selected bibliography of papers and periodicals.
Beyond Deaths Door, Maurice
Rawlings, M.D., 1978; Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.
Dr. Rawlings discovered NDEs in his work as a cardiologist and became a born-again
Christian as a result. His thesis is that there are many hellish NDEs that are ignored by
researchers who prefer the stories of blissful experiences. He includes step-by-step
cardiopulmonary resuscitation instructions and a prayer for becoming a born-again
To Hell and Back, Maurice
Rawlings, M.D., 1993, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.
In this follow up to his 1978 book, Dr. Rawlings challenges the research methods that
produce mostly happy near-death experience stories and attempts to prove that the
near-death experience, properly reported, supports the fundamentalist view of
Christianity. His thesis is: "By denying the existence of negative events, a whole
new religion has developed from near-death experiences." Much of the value of this
and his earlier book is that they help the reader be aware of the existence of frightening
Life At Death, Kenneth Ring,
1980, Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, New York, NY.
This scholarly book is the first scientific inquiry into the near-death experience. The
author shows that NDEs happens to people of all races and ages, regardless of religious
affiliation. Although drier than most NDE books (there are lots of tables and charts), it
has a chapter at the end where Ken Ring examines alternative explanations for the NDE and
finds them wanting.
Heading Towards Omega, Kenneth
Ring, 1984, William Morrow and Company, New York, NY.
This book encourages a mind expanding experience by drawing the reader into the
consciousness and world that NDEers inhabit. Extensive quotes from many experiencers make
for some very interesting reading. Based on his interviews with over 100 NDEers, Ken Ring
explores the aftereffects and personal transformations brought about by near-death
experiences. He includes his lengthy interview questionnaire and graphs of his findings.
Return From Tomorrow, George
Ritchie, M.D., 1978, Fleming H. Revell, Grand Rapids, MI.
Army recruit has major NDE that leads him to become a doctor, then a psychiatrist. He
learns that the world we inhabit is loaded with spiritual entities and that there are a
variety of realms on earth besides the physical one. His courageous sharing of his
experience at a time when such people were considered insane opened the door for research
into near-death experiences. Dr. Ritchies profound experience had a formative
influence on Dr. Raymond Moody, the founder of the near-death "movement."
My Life After Dying, George
Ritchie, M.D., 1991, Hampton Roads Publishing, Norfolk, VA.
In this second book about his 1943 NDE, Dr. Ritchie shares more of what he learned during
his near-death experience as well as how it played out in his life afterwards. The author
describes several healings where prayer accomplished what medical practices couldnt.
In an exemplary contrast to many who claim to be healers, Dr. Ritchie follows up on the
healed patients several years later.
Recollections of Death: A Medical
Investigation, Michael Sabom, M. D., 1982, Harper & Row, New York, NY.
Originally a skeptic about the validity of NDEs, this cardiologist-turned-NDE-researcher
performed a study of 116 people that has become a benchmark in the field. For example, Dr.
Sabom writes about 32 patients who left their bodies during surgery and who could
accurately describe their resuscitation attempts and contrasts this with a control group
whose educated guesses were wrong. "After a while the facts became so overwhelming
that I could not deny the reality of the NDE." This out-of-print book can be found in
The Final Entrance: Journeys Beyond
Life, Sue Schoenbeck, R.N., 1997, Prairie Oak Press, Madison, WI.
The Final Entrance is a reflection of the experiences of a nurse who has tended
many people as they made their transition to the life to come. Sue Schoenbeck appeals to
fellow nurses to listen with compassion to the words of the dying and to work to
understand the effects on patients of near-death experiences.
After the Light, Kimberly Clark
Sharp, 1995, William Morrow and Company, New York, NY.
Kansas girl without ruby slippers hits the sidewalk and travels somewhere over the
rainbow, landing in the Emerald City of the Pacific Northwest, where she founded and still
leads the oldest and largest IANDS chapter. This book chronicles the mystical,
frightening, humorous and inspiring life of Kim and her patients, as she shares the road
with angels, demons and other spiritual visitors. The author shares the famous Maria
story, which occurred while she was working in critical care at the Harborview Medical
Center in Seattle.
Reborn in the Light, 1992;
Within the Light, 1993, Cherie Sutherland, Bantam Books, New York, NY.
The authors near-death experience during a difficult childbirth triggered her
interest in this field and became the basis for her doctoral thesis. Reborn in the
Light focuses on life after near-death experiences and explores implications for
health-care professionals. In the appendix the author reviews her research methods and
includes two sets of interview questions. Within the Light covers many cases,
including childhood, suicide and frightening near-death experiences.
Otherworld Journeys, Carol
Zaleski, 1987, Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
Subtitled Accounts of Near-Death Experiences in Medieval and Modern Times, this is
a somewhat scholarly look at NDEs across the centuries, with over 700 footnotes in 11
chapters. This work shows that NDEs have happened to people throughout history and are a
normal part of being human. The literature of the Middle Ages is filled with such
And yes, in addition to life and death issues,
there is humor in the field.
Petted by the Light, Patrick R. Tobin and Christine R. Doley, 1995, Birch Lane Press, New York, NY.
This is a hilarious parody of NDE books, aptly subtitled: The Most Profound and
Complete Feline Near-Death Experiences Ever.
If you have comments about this bibliography, you may direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Seattle IANDS retains the copyright to the bibliography. You have permission to freely copy and distribute this bibliography under these conditions: 1) you distribute it free of charge; 2) you distribute it with the intent to help people; 3) you distribute the document in full, including this paragraph, without modifications.
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