When I read the NDE research there seems to be quite a few references to michael shermer, a prominent skeptic and materialist apparently. He has written about NDE research claiming to debunk it, is there much validity to his claims
I think this might have to do with the infamous Lancet controversy. The Dutch cardiologist Pim van Lommel published a NDE study in the Lancet coming to the conclusion that NDEs could not be purely created by the brain. Michael Shermer, writing for his sceptical column in American Scientific, falsely cited the study as evidence that the NDE is brain induced. Now this was neither the thrust nor the conclusion of van Lommel's study, and van Lommel wrote a reply to Shermer's claims in Scientific American demonstrating that Shermer had completely misrepresented the Lancet article. Rather damningly Shermer never retracted his claims.