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I remember seeing this movie around 1990 and it was already on TV so it could have been a little older.

It was about a lab where they were trying to catch the souls and consciousnesses of dying people. They had a guy who had terminal cancer and his name was Kent, and when he died they were gonna attempt it on him. They also had a little girl who was kind of a medium, and could cross with his consciousness without dying.

I also remember that one of the scientists was a woman who had lost her kid when he drowned, and ended up falling in love with Kent.

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This sounds like "The Lifeforce Experiment", a made for TV movie released in 1994, based on the Daphne du Maurier novella "The Breakthrough".

According to IMDB:

Eccentric scientist Dr. MacLean wants to determine if the afterlife exists by recording the moment the soul leaves a dying body. A terminally ill boy, a psychic girl and an undercover agent Jessica Saunders help him.

The terminally ill boy, Ken (not "Kent") Ryan, has leukaemia and is going to die soon. MacLean (played by Donald Sutherland) wants to record his brain activity at the moment of death to find out if the afterlife exists. The undercover agent mentioned in the synopsis is also a scientist, and indeed gets emotionally attached to Ken, as mentioned in the question.

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