Excited Delirium Syndrome

Doctors use “diagnostic” labels to describe a condition or constellation of symptoms and signs before determining treatment or rendering a prognosis. Diagnostic criteria generally remain static and serve as a collective reference point for the medical world. Not so for the diagnosis of “excited delirium.”  Not only has the meaning of “excited delirium” morphed over time, but the legal community has conscripted it for non-medical purposes, like defending claims of excessive force by police officers. Recently, the medical community rejected this use and “revoked” the diagnosis. Who benefits?