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Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE -

Causes of ex­cited delir­ium may in­clude schizophre­nia and other psy­chi­atric ill­nesses, drug in­tox­i­ca­tion, al­co­hol with­drawal and heat stroke, ex­perts say.

Soon af­ter he was ar­rested for an al­leged as­sault, Hyde was Tasered up to five times when he tried to es­cape from the po­lice sta­tion in down­town Hal­i­fax. Of­fi­cers have tes­ti­fied that Hyde was soaked in sweat and pos­sessed su­per­hu­man strength as he tried to flee the build­ing.

Hyde was later taken to hospi­tal where he was given med­i­ca­tion, but he was re­leased sev­eral hours later on the con­di­tion he get psy­chi­atric help once he ap­peared be­fore a judge. But that never hap­pened. Hyde died the next day as guards at the Cen­tral Nova Sco­tia Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity wres­tled him to the ground af­ter he re­fused to walk down a hall­way be­cause he thought there were “demons” at the other end.

Noone, man­ager of psy­chi­atric in­ten­sive care at the Riverview Hospi­tal in Co­quit­lam, B.C., pro­duced a re­port for the in­quiry that states use of the term ex­cited delir­ium when de­scrib­ing cause of death can re­sult in the de­ceased be­ing la­belled as the cul­prit.

“The at­trac­tive­ness of the term may re­late to some of its pro­po­nents hav­ing ... the sub­jec­tive per­cep­tion that con­ducted en­ergy weapon use and phys­i­cal, me­chan­i­cal re­straint used by law en­force­ment of­fi­cers de­serves to be ex­cluded or ab­solved as con­tribut­ing in any way to an in­cus­tody death,” the re­port says.

Noone tes­ti­fied the term im­plies those in the throes of ex­cited delir­ium “ had some­thing wrong with them” to be­gin with. “And if they died, they were go­ing to die any­way.

“Ex­cited delir­ium (pro­po­nents) say that peo­ple walk around in this state where they could drop at any mo­ment. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, they are not drop­ping at any mo­ment.”

He said he pre­ferred the term emo­tion­ally dis­turbed per­son “be­cause then you’re not mak­ing any as­sump­tions about what you’ve got or what you’ve think you’ve got. ... There’s no im­pli­ca­tions of di­ag­no­sis or cause.”

An in­de­pen­dent re­port com­mis­sioned by the RCMP also crit­i­cized the use of the term ex­cited delir­ium.

The re­port, or­dered af­ter a Pol­ish im­mi­grant died fol­low­ing mul­ti­ple Taser­ings by Moun­ties at Van­cou­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port, said the con­di­tion is some­times used as an ex­cuse to jus­tify fir­ing stun guns.

Noone’s provoca­tive com­ments fol­lowed tes­ti­mony Mon­day from Dr. Chris­tine Hall, an ex­pert in ex­cited delir­ium who told the in­quiry there were many warn­ing signs sug­gest­ing Hyde was suf­fer­ing from the con­di­tion as he was taken into cus­tody.

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