Weight loss at time of death

Does anyone have hard evidence for a sudden weight loss at the time of death? I am not talking about bodily fluids. I am assuming the entire patient is on the scale, fluids and all. The reason I ask is the implication that the soul leaving the body has a mass that can be measured. I have heard the rumors but can’t find any facts in any medical journals to support this claim. I would be grateful if someone could site the source.

This was the premise of the movie 21 Grams, or so the trailer would have you believe. I’m in search lockout at the moment, but I’m pretty sure we’ve done this before.

Ah, yes. Here it is:

And I do see that you’re a guest, so let me say that I wasn’t trying to be snarky and suggest you should have searched first. I was just trying to save everyone else the search.

What appears to be the text of the original paper has been posted on the net in a couple of places. It’s a pretty vague report and hardly what anyone would now consider a well-controlled experiment.

(In her Dying to Live (Grafton, 1993, p181), Susan Blackmore gives the reference as MacDougall, D., 1907, “Hypothesis concerning soul substance together with experimental evidence of the existence of such substance”, Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research I, 237-44. How this relates to the more commonly cited American Medicine article I don’t know, but I suspect it may be the original report with the latter a reprinting.)

Well many would look elsewhere since the existence of a soul has not been recognized by any legitimate medical researcher that I have heard of.

I think I would amend this to “the ability to create a valid measure of the existence of a soul has not been recognized…”

So if the soul has a mass that can be scientifically measured as it leaves at death, then surely the same mass can be measured as it enters the newly-formed body, right?
I’m looking for some female volunteers to help with this research… (Really, my funding is coming through any day now… We should go ahead and start rehearsing the experimental procedure now).
It’ll take a while to get complete data (say, nine months), but on the positive side, we could solve some important theological debates.

Lekatt should be here in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
:smiley:

Some modern hospital beds have scales built in to them. They weigh in pounds and ounces or kilos and grams. They take some preparation to get an accurate weight, such as being sure the exact same items are on the bed as when it was zeroed.

Because the beds are more expensive, they are rarely found outside the ICU. Most times when someone dies in ICU, they are the focus of a great deal of activity for a variable length of time. Things get pulled off the bed, things get added. Fluids come and go. (Ivs in, Blood samples out.) Finding the exact weight of those fluids would be near impossible, since the focus is on quick action to help the person who is trying to die.

The idea of weighing someone immediately after death probably doesn’t occur to most healthcare professionals, but it’s possible it has happened.
Unfortunately, I doubt the scales are sensitive enough to weigh ectoplasm, or the lack thereof.

No, **drachillix **had it right.

Hell, my digital scale sometimes reads as much as a pound of difference a matter of seconds later. Without any intervening ingestion or evacuation of material, nor (I hope!) any increase or decrease in my ‘soul-stuff’.