Hypnosis Execution?

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I have read, (a few times now), about the claim that a man, while under hypnosis, is told he is about to be executed, and ends up dying of a heart attack. There have been claims of this happening, more than once, so I figured it would be time to delve a little deeper into the subject.
There's a case, in 1986, where some students from Birmingham were wondering the same things that I am wondering right now. So, they decided to try out a little experiment and brought in a laboratory assistant, who they were not very fond of. They explained to him the simplistic rules of hypnosis, that you can not do what you are not willing to do, and that, essentially, he would be fine.
They had him kneel down, and his neck exposed, as if he was about to have his head sliced off. Then, they took a wet towel, and dropped it across the back of his neck, while he believed he was about to be executed. The person, then dropped dead, by a heart attack, which killed him.
So, here is the question. Can hypnosis lead the physically unharmed to die, just based on the fact that they are under hypnosis?
I don't believe it at all, to be honest. After I just read chapter six out of our textbook, there were quite a few "misconceptions" about hypnosis that make me think this is absolute rubbish.
For starters, there is the fact that those that are under hypnosis are completely aware of their surroundings. It is not as if he is whisked away to this dream world where he is brought to his utter demise. He would have had the ability to tell where he was. There has also been people brought out hypnosis that were able to recall details on a telephone call that was made during hypnosis.
This is my main point, along with the fact that it sounds absolutely asinine to think that just because someone drops a wet towel on the back of our necks when we're under hypnosis, that we feel as if we are dying. Maybe the poor chap was shocked by the feeling of the towel, and ended up going into cardiac arrest. Maybe it was a freak coincidence. I believe that the fact he was undergoing hypnosis had nothing to do with the case, whatsoever.
But, there hasn't been enough evidence to truly support that it was hypnosis, or that it wasn't. I guess we will have to do more research, and find out.
http://www.snopes.com/horrors/gruesome/execute.asp

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This page contains a single entry by rings066 published on October 8, 2011 9:04 PM.

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