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End-of-Life: Inner experience and unusual awareness in the dying

25 April 2020 9:00 am - 4:50 pm
This event is open to BPS members and the general public. Registration is required. See Pricing Tab for more information.
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Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have made the difficult decision to cancel this event.

If you have already registered we will contact you directly to discuss your options and either defer your booking (if possible) or provide you with a full refund.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope that you understand the need for our decision.

The aim of this symposium is to explore the human experience of dying.

The event will focus on the personal experiences associated with dying and an understanding of the end-of-life process.  

The presentations will highlight:

  • the inner emotions, needs and personal experiences of the dying
  • evidence for exceptional experiences and unusual awareness at the end-of-life, such as deathbed visions
  • the unexpected return of mental clarity and memory, shortly before death, in patients with psychiatric and  neurologic disorders
  • reports of expanded consciousness by survivors who have been close to death and who have had a near-death experience

Many of these phenomena can be transformative in nature for the experiencer. They may also have a profound impact on others. Some may find an awareness of these experiences personally meaningful.

Knowledge of experiences and phenomena associated with the end-of-life adds to our growing understanding of the end-of-life as a process.

This can play a positive role in ensuring the best possible end-of-life understanding and care, as well as encouraging an optimal context for the dying, their loved ones, and those who are responsible for their support and well-being.

It is helpful for those in the mental health and caring professions, especially for those working in end-of-life care.

In addition to furthering our understanding of dying, some commentators argue that certain end-of-life phenomena challenge current scientific models of mind and consciousness.

British Psychological Society
30 Tabernacle Street

Event Location: 
9:00 Registration and tea/coffee
9:20 Welcome and introduction to the day event
9:30 Dr Elaine Finkelstein What does dying feel like? Personal experiences and inner emotions of those nearing the end-of-life
10:20 Questions and voluntary sharing of personal experiences
10:40 Tea/coffee
11:10 Dr Peter Fenwick Shining a new light on death. Unusual awareness and exceptional phenomena associated with the end-of-life
12:00 Questions and voluntary sharing of personal experiences
12:20 Poster session
12:40 Lunch break (please note that lunch will not be provided)
13:45 Professor Alexander Batthyány Terminal lucidity: Return to say farewell.
14.35 Questions and voluntary sharing of personal experiences
14:55 Poster session
15:15 Tea/coffee
15:40 Dr Penny Sartori The near-death experience. What near-death experiences teach us about the end-of-life process and how this can improve end-of-life care
16:30 Questions and voluntary sharing of personal experiences
16:50 Brief closing remarks


CEP invites poster submissions from those involved in research relevant to the topics addressed at this symposium. Please submit a 250-500 word abstract by 23.59 on 15 Feb 2020. Both queries and submissions may be emailed to [email protected]. Please include End-of-Life poster submission in the subject line with submissions.

Professor Alexander Batthyány

Alexander Batthyány, PhD, holds the Viktor Frankl Chair for Philosophy and Psychology at the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein. He teaches the theory of Cognitive Science at Vienna University’s Cognitive Science Programme, and Logotherapy and Existential Analysis at the Department of Psychiatry at Vienna Medical School. Since 2012, Professor Batthyány has been Visiting Professor for Existential Psychotherapy at the Moscow University Institute of Psychoanalysis. He has published several books and articles, and lectures widely on philosophical and existential psychology, philosophy of mind, theory of cognitive science and death studies. Professor Batthyány conducted the first large contemporary study on terminal lucidity and remains actively involved in this research endeavour.

Dr Peter Fenwick

Dr Peter Fenwick, a neuropsychiatrist, is Emeritus at Kings College Institute of Psychiatry in London, and Emeritus at Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford. Dr Fenwick was a senior lecturer and consultant at King’s College, Consultant Neuropsychologist at both the Maudsley and John Radcliffe hospitals, and also provided services for Broadmoor Hospital. He worked with the Mental Health Group at the University of Southampton and held a visiting professorship at the Riken Neurosciences Institute in Japan. Dr Fenwick is president of the Scientific and Medical Network, past president of the Horizon Research Foundation, an organisation that supports research into near-death experiences, and was also previously president of the British branch of the International Association for Near-Death Studies. Fenwick is a leading expert in near-death and end-of-life experiences and has published several books and a number of articles in the field.

Dr Elaine Finkelstein

Dr Elaine Finkelstein is a Clinical Psychologist in private practice with special interests in death, dying and end-of-life care. Her work focus involves dealing with anxiety, coming to terms with death and dying, psychological changes associated with the end-of-life process, unusual end-of-life awareness and family support. Dr Finkelstein is also a registered Occupational Psychologist, Chartered Psychologist and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is currently Honorary Secretary, and Research Board representative, for the Consciousness and Experiential Psychology section of the British Psychological Society. Dr Finkelstein is the Founder of the Transformative End-of-Life Experiences Research Foundation (TELERF) and delivers lectures relating to her research. She has authored two books, on stress management and near-death experiences respectively.

Dr Penny Sartori

Dr Penny Sartori is a former intensive care nurse with over 21 years of experience. Dr Sartori undertook one of the UK’s first hospital research studies of Near-Death Experiences for which she was awarded a PhD in 2005. Dr Sartori is a leading expert in this field, and her work is well known both nationally and abroad. She lectures both nationally and internationally and is frequently interviewed by the media. Dr Sartori has published several books and a number of articles, and is the author of the bestselling, The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences. Dr Sartori currently holds the position of Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing at Swansea University in South Wales.

BPS Members £15
Non members £20
These prices include VAT

This event is free for Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section Members.

Registration information

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If you have any queries regarding this event please contact Member Network Services, quoting 'CEP - EndOfLife - 25 Apr 20' at:

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