Dr Steven Laureys, who heads the Coma Science Group at the university hospital in the city of Liege, has spoken to many patients over the years who have woken out of a coma and told him about 'journeys' they have been on during the near-death experience.


Steven Laureys...interviewed 190 people who claim to have vivid memories of near-death experiences.


Their stories all have elements that are the same or very similar.


"After being close to death, some people will report having had an out-of-body experience, having seen a bright light or being passed through a tunnel; all well-known elements of the famous Near-Death Experience," according to the study by Laureys and his team of six scientists.


"I felt as if I were sucked out of my body at one point," said Raymond. "I was going through a completely black tunnel, very, very quickly, a speed you cannot express, because you just don't experience it."


“We found the near-death experiences were richer and more real than real than any other experience,” Laureys told ABC News, adding that the experience was generally “quite positive.” “It’s hard to explain how such a rich experience can happen in such a situation where we know the activity of the brain is very, very abnormal.”


“Over 80 percent a report feeling of peacefulness,”


Some researchers have hypothesized that oxygen deprivation could be triggering the experiences, but Laureys said that’s unlikely. He said people with injuries that would not immediately affect the flow of oxygen to the brain reported similar memories.


Laureys doesn't want to speculate on the existence of heaven or hell, but he does say that only a small minority of near-death experiences are horrifying. Most of them are pleasant and uplifting.