Letter in Skeptic, vol. 1, no. 3 (1992), p. 10

Dear Dr. Shermer:

On p. 52 you briefly discuss Michael Sabom's work on NDEs. Sabom makes much of the life-changing aspect of NDEs. You might be interested to note that other researchers have noted precisely the same kind of effect from all different kinds of major life traumas. The significant factor appears not to be the NDE, but the threat to life. Terminal cancer patients, for instance, do the same thing--restructure their lives and frequently seem much happier with each moment of life than before. (See Shelley Taylor's 1989 book, Positive Illusions, for her account of studying such people.)

--Jim Lippard, Tucson, AZ

[This was a response to an article in the previous issue by Michael Shermer. Shermer's response in same issue: "A point well taken that will be added to any later-published version of this essay."]