$= !+ + > ; < =
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.