Dr. Michael Sabom

By Kevin Williams

Dr. Michael Sabom is a cardiologist whose first book, Recollections of Death, is considered to be a landmark in the field of near-death research. He is a leading authority with over twenty years in the field. In 1994, he founded the Atlanta Study which is the first comprehensive investigation of its kind into NDEs. Its purpose was to document the life-and-death dramas played out in operating rooms and hospital beds - and the simultaneous events unseen by medical personnel but reported with astonishing clarity and conviction by nearly 50 individuals who returned from death's door. Dr. Sabom's latest book, Light and Death, shares with the world his findings from the Atlanta Study. Sabom, also a born-again Christian, scrutinizes NDEs in light of what the Bible has to say about death and dying, the realities of light and darkness, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Below are the findings from Sabom's Atlanta Study.

Dr. Michael Sabom's Atlanta Study Results
 

Background Characteristics

Conservative
Christians
22 persons
Liberal
Christians
13 persons
God
Believers
12 persons
Cardiac
Patients
32 persons
Random
Cardiac Patients
81 persons
AGE
(mean years)
 
 
52
 
 
54
 
52
 
 
62.7
 
 
58.6
 
SEX
Male
Female
 
 
36%
64%
 
 

62%

38%

 
 

25%

75%

 
 
81%

19%

 

56%

44%

 
RACE
(White)
 
 
91%
 
 
100%
 
 
100%
 
 
100%
 
 
99%
 
EDUCATION
(mean years)
 
 
13.4
 
 
15.2
 
 
14.7
 
 
14.5
 
 
14.4
 
OCCUPATION
Professional
Clerical-Sales
Laborer-Svcs
 
 
9%
64%
27%
 
 
62%
38%
------
 
 
33%
67%
------
 
 
47%
19%
34%
 
 
32%
59%
9%
 
FUNCTIONAL
CLASS (1)
     I. 
      II. 
     III. 
 
 
 
63%
32%
5%
 
 
 
83%
17%
------
 
 
 
92%
8%
------
 
 
 
87%
13%
------
 
 
 
72%
21%
7%
 
YEARS POST-
NDE (mean)
 
 
12.7
 
 
15.5
 
 
10.4
 
 
N/A
 
 
N/A
 
PRESENT
RELIGION
Protestant
Catholic
Jewish
Other or None
 
 
 
96%
4%
0%
0%
 
 
 
77%
15%
0%
8%
 
 
 
25%
17%
0%
58%
 
 
 
81%
9%
6%

4%

 
 
 
69%
17%
9%
5%
 
HOGE'S
INTRINSIC
RELIGIOSITY
(mean)
 
 
 
 
36.1
 
 
 
 
28.2
 
 
 
 
25.1
 
 
 
 
N/A
 
 
 
 
27.8
 
CHURCH
ATTENDANCE
(mean)
Childhood
Before NDE
Present
 
 
 
 
1.27
2.14
1.32
 
 
 
 
1.23
2.23
2.08
 
 
 
 
1.42
3.25
3.17
 
 
 
 
N/A
N/A
N/A
 
 
 
 
N/A
N/A
2.20
 
CHANGE IN
BASIC
RELIGIOUS
DOCTRINE
Prior to NDE
Following a NDE
 
 
 
 
27%
18%
 
 
 
 
 
15%
0%
 
 
 
 
 
50%
0%
 
 
 
 
 
N/A
N/A
 
 
 
 
 
N/A
N/A
 
NON-NDE
ASSOCIATED
OBEs
Visions
Precognitions
 
 
 
9%
46%
55%
 
 
 
15%
31%
46%
 
 
 
17%
42%
67%
 
 
 
N/A
N/A
N/A
 
 
 
9%
15%
21%
 
 

"It is love, not religion, that creates spiritual growth." - Sandra Rogers, near-death experiencer

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