When I picked up the View section on Sept. 18 and glanced at your cover story, "A Step Toward the Light," I thought I was in for another cynical portrayal of the paranormal by a jaded reporter. I was mistaken. Beth Ann Krier's look at pediatrician Melvin Morse's studies of children's near-death experiences was an objective piece. Krier's article presented the non-ordinary in a manner that was neither critical nor trivial.
If only the medical community could be as nonjudgmental as Krier. What I found so acutely ironic was Morse's admission that although 23 out of 25 of the children he studied who had had near-death experiences reported to have encountered a "presence of light," Morse knew that his scientifically conducted study would be rejected for publication in a professional journal, should he include this significant finding. Morse had used the scientific model to conduct his studies, he had made a statistically significant finding using that model, and yet he knew that the scientific paradigm would not accept such a finding.
What was equally ironic was Morse's concluding remark that, "As doctors, we don't know what to do with this kind of information . . . I'll include myself in this. Even now, people say to me, 'Well, doesn't this make you believe in life after death?' I guess it just goes against my training so much that I have to say, 'Well, I really don't know.' We're not comfortable with death."