Dr. Pim van Lommel, a renowned cardiologist, was so inspired by the stories his patients told of their Near Death Experiences (NDEs) that he became the first medical practitioner to risk his reputation with a full, systematic trial into the phenomenon. He interviewed 344 heart patients at his hospital who had all clinically died, some for five minutes or longer, before being resuscitated. Of these, 62 - or 18 per cent - reported some ongoing experience after the medical monitors had pronounced them to be dead. Van Lommel claims these are authentic experiences which cannot be reduced to the imagination, psychosis or an oxygen deficiency; people are permanently changed by an NDE. In "Consciousness Beyond Life", van Lommel explains how people who are clinically dead can have such a transformative experience, illustrating his argument with stories of people who have gone through an NDE. In van Lommel's opinion, our consciousness does not always coincide with brain functions and he shows that, remarkably and significantly, consciousness can even be experienced separate from the body.