All of this, I say, must have had a powerful bearing on Parnia’s own sense of mortality. Is he comforted or made paranoid by his work?
He suggests that the experience of talking to people who have returned from dying serves only to enhance his curiosity about the process they have undergone, and which he has sometimes helped to reverse.
Other than that, “In ICU, I see people dying every day and each time it happens, a part of you thinks: One day, this will be me. There will be people huddling round my bed deciding whether or not to resuscitate and I know one thing for sure: I don’t want it just down to pot luck whether I end up brain damaged or even alive,” he says.