Ep. 261 Near-Death Experiences and Healthcare: Bridging the “Gap of Care” with Heidi Walsh and Lilia Samoilo

Learn how a “gap of care” exists for patients who have near-death experiences in the hospital that are not validated or believed.

My two guests, Heidi Walsh and Lilia Samoilo worked together on a project to gather stories of near-death experiencers and how they were perceived and treated by the healthcare system after their extraordinary NDE’s. Lilia is an NDE educator who herself has experienced multiple NDE’s and Heidi is the managing editor for Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics: A Journal of Qualitative Research. They discuss the findings of the symposium they created and why more education about NDE’s is needed for healthcare practitioners.

Learn more about the symposium here.

Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • The definition of a near-death experience
  • Why patient stories are helpful in medicine and bioethics
  • What is the “gap of care” for NDE patients in healthcare settings and how does it harm them
  • Why this “gap of care” is a bioethical issue that should be addressed
  • Statistics show that 20% of resuscitated patients have had an NDE but only 2% self-report the experience
  • How to validate a patient’s experience even if you don’t believe it is possible
  • How the Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics Journal came to create a symposium on NDE’s
  • Why combat veterans who have had NDE’s are harmed by lack of validation for their experience
  • Why it is essential that medical providers be trained to recognize and have conversations about NDE’s in order to bridge the gap of care for patients
  • How the NDE Symposium could be used for teaching purposes but first must be released to open access and how Heidi and Lilia are working to raise money for that
  • Where to get additional resources (see the links below)

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • September Workshop with Suzanne O’Brien (and Dr. Wyatt): Top Lessons Learned from Those at the End of Life: How to be Resilient in Difficult Times
  • Access free articles from the NIB Journal here
  • Donate to support the open access of the symposium here
  • NDE resources from the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS)
  • Resources for veterans with NDE’s
  • IANDS NDE Radio with Lee Witting (I was a guest!)
  • Contact Heidi Walsh: narrativebioethics@gmail.com
  • Contact Lilia Samoilo: NDE-goc@outlook.com
  • Subscribe to this podcast on AppleGoogleSpotifyiHeart RadioStitcher Radio
  • Check out the Series I’ve recorded in the past here
  • Join the team at Patreon.com/eolu and get access to the EOLU mug“Mind if we talk about death?” (only Patrons can purchase it). PLUS get our new bonuses: the monthly EOL News Update, movie reviews from 2 Doctors and a Movie, and automatic access to A Year of Reading Dangerously!

If you enjoy this content please share it with others and consider leaving a review on iTunes! Thanks again to all supporters on my page at Patreon.com/eolu! Your contributions make all the difference!

End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 103 The Truth About CPR: Exposing the Myths

Learn the myths and facts about Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.


In this episode I’ll discuss the misunderstandings that exist in our society about CPR, primarily due to the way it is portrayed in movies and on television programs, like House and ER. It’s important to know the truth about CPR in order to make the best decisions for our future healthcare.


An Evening withDr. Ira ByockBe sure to sign up for “An Evening with Ira Byock, MD” on August 21st. Help us celebrate the 20th Anniversary of his book Dying Well. You’ll receive the replay if you can’t attend live.

Click here to register.



You can help support this podcast by making a small donation ($1 or $2 per month) at Patreon.com/eolu. Thank you to my latest contributors Karen Greer and Barbara Richardson. I really appreciate your support and it helps me keep the podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series on the air! Check out Patreon.com/eolu.


This is a follow-up to the latest interview on EOL University Interview Series with Dr. Fred Mirarchi, and ER physician who has conducted the TRIAD Studies (The Realistic Interpretation of Advance Directives.) In that presentation Dr. Mirarchi shared how advance directives like Living Wills and POLST forms are often misinterpreted by healthcare providers, resulting in patients receiving less or more intervention than they specified in their paperwork. You can listen to Dr. Mirarchi’s talk here.

I discuss:

  • three myths about CPR that are commonly believed
  • the true statistics about the outcome of CPR
  • the difference between CPR and the use of AED’s (automated external defibrillator)
  • when CPR might be called for and when it is likely to cause more harm than good
  • issues to consider when completing your CPR or DNR directive

You can download the handout “Facts About CPR” from the Colorado Advance Directives Consortium by clicking below:

Download the Handout

Remember there will be a new episode every Monday! Until next week …

Face Your Fears.                       BE Ready.                       Love Your Life.