Sam Parnia, a doctor at Stony Brook University Hospital, is a pioneer in resuscitation medicine -- a relatively new field that focuses on developing CPR techniques that can bring people back to life up to half an hour after they've died. He also studies near-death experiences, and says there's compelling evidence that conscious experiences continue even after the brain shuts down. "All we can say now is that the data suggests that consciousness is not annihilated," he says.

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