I think that while we cannot easily prove that NDE "symptoms" are caused by the dieing brain and it's "last attempts", it's pretty logical however. (the problem is, we can't force NDE on humans safely, and doing it by safe drugs cannot be considered 100% the same thing for the sake of finding out how it works, because then it might not be NDE we're looking at, at least if my understanding of scientific experimentation is right).
I'll put the question in another, inverted, way:
Apologies up front for this analogy, but I'm an IT student :)
If the body (including the brain of course, all the physical parts) is the hardware, and the mind (that is the current state, memory etc.) is the software then I think it's pretty clear that if you destroy the processor, RAM etc. (brain) or the power lines (heart etc.) you "stop being".
Our consciousness is just like a software program which is running all the time.
A software program "is" only as long as it runs. With the exception of backups to non-active media (hard disk etc., by non-active I mean media not requiring power to remember data), the program ceases to exist if:
a) it's removed from execution (in our usual case the process is killed and it's memory is wiped from RAM).
b) we destroy the computer and hard-disk with it, and there's no other copy
Now, as far as I know, living beings cannot be "stored to disk and shut down" per-se, except perhaps arguably deep coma and hybernation kind of thing.
Now the question: is there anything to contradict this view on "consciousness"? Anything to suggest that our "consciousness" is more than a "software program" running on a computer called "the body"?
So basically I'm asking for a contradiction for this hypothesis.
P.S.: I guess in the end it's a bit OT, if you feel strongly about it I can post a new thread instead...