Remarkable advances in resuscitation medicine—the science of bringing people back to life—have blurred the once clear demarcation between life and death. Led by physicians across the globe, these developments are creating a paradigm shift in our understanding of death, challenging the perception that it is an implacable, terminal moment with the realization that death is a dynamic, biological process that is capable of being reversed.
Today, people who would otherwise be pronounced "dead" are being brought back to life minutes to even hours after taking their last breath, with the possibility of leading healthy and normal lives. Moreover, many of these individuals, spanning all ages and backgrounds, are now reporting—in surprisingly vivid and similar accounts—their firsthand experience of what happened after their cardiac arrest, raising the unavoidable question of the continuity of consciousness beyond physical death.
In light of these striking developments, this four-part series, moderated by Steve Paulson, journalist and Executive Producer of Wisconsin Public Radio's "To The Best Of Our Knowledge," will bring together leading experts at the crossroads of emergency medicine and neuroscience, psychology and law, anthropology and philosophy. They will explore this new frontier at the intersection of life and death, and its potential implications for how we understand and approach our mortality from scientific, ethical, and social perspectives.