California becomes 1st state to ban term 'excited delirium' as medical diagnosis, cause of death

The term excited delirium can no longer be used as a valid medical diagnosis or a cause of death in California.

Gov. Newsom on Sunday signed a bill into law, making California the first state in the nation to ban the controversial term. 

Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson) wrote the bill after the death of Angelo Quinto in 2020.

Quinto's family had called police for help when the former Navy sailor was suffering from a mental health crisis. Police restrained him soon after arriving at the family home. He stopped breathing and died three days afterward. 


The coroner concluded that Quinto died of "excited delirium" but the family says they believe he died of asphyxia after having been restrained for five minutes.

The Quinto family has sued the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office over this term.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: In-custody death of Angelo Quinto in Antioch ruled 'accident,' Coroner cites ‘excited delirium’

The new law now forbids the use of the term "excited delirium" as a valid medical diagnosis or cause of death in California. Coroners and medical examiners cannot list it as a cause of death on a death certificate or autopsy report. It also bars law enforcement from using the term to describe the condition of someone in an incident report. And it is now inadmissible as evidence in civil actions. 

Quinto's family told KTVU they were very happy that this law had passed. 

Quinto's stepfather, Robert Collins, said the victory was made even sweeter because the bill became law on Quinto's sister's 21st birthday. 

And civil rights attorney Julia Sherwin, who has worked 20 years to ban this term, was just as thrilled.

She said she never thought this day would come and she's  pushing for this law to take hold in Minnesota and Colorado. 

"I hope Angelo Quinto's family knows Angelo did not die in vain."