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 terms of the copyright notice attached at the end:

Bibliography 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 for location and directions. For further information about Seattle IANDS, call 206-525-5489, e-mail 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

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 teaching hospitals.
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 religious perspective.
Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology who founded IANDS and has studied NDEs extensively.
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 author.

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 people’s 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 don’t 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 death."

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 person’s 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, Springfield, IL.
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 libraries.

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 didn’t recognize it as what we now call a near-death experience. Other books on Dr. Jung have documented his experience.

A Farther Shore, Yvonne Kason, M.D, 1994, HarperCollins Publishers, Toronto, Canada.
A Farther Shore combines the dramatic story of the author’s 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 Children’s 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 People’s 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 Death’s 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 Christian.

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 near-death experiences.

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. Ritchie’s 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 couldn’t. 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 libraries.

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 author’s 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 accounts.

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 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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