Paul-Marie Maxime Laignel-Lavastine, born in Évreux, France on September 12, 1875, from a family originally from Elbeuf, France, and died in Paris on September 5, 1953, was a French psychiatrist.
Maxime came from a family of several doctors: his maternal grandfather, Louis Bidault, received the 7th place in the 1842 Paris hospital internship rankings, and his great-uncle, Jacques Daviel, was the inventor of the cataract operation by extraction. After high school in Évreux, where he won the general competition in history and natural history, he began studying medicine in Paris and became a pupil of Joseph Babinski.
He was interested in neuroanatomy, neurology, criminology, and psychiatry. He was also devoted to the study of the history of medicine. Laignel-Lavastine supported the initiative of his pupil, Isidore Simon, when he founded the Society of the History of Jewish Medicine and he agreed to become honorary president.
At Sainte-Anne Hospital Center in Paris, he obtained the Chair of the History of Medicine in 1931 and the Chair of Mental Illness in 1939, succeeding Henri Claude, who was chair of Mental Illness from 1922 to 1939. (In 1942, he was succeeded in this position by Joseph Lévy-Valensi, who served until 1943.) His main and innovative activity was his teaching at the Institute of Criminology and Penal Law in Paris. He was also a member of the Medico-Psychological Society, the School of Anthropology and the International Society of Criminology. He was a member of the International Academy of the History of Science.
He co-authored a psychiatry textbook and, with V. Vanciu and Étienne De Greeff, published a criminology text. He also wrote a preface to a book by Alfred Adler, La Sens de la vie (Payot: ISBN 2-228-89531-8) (originally published in German as Der Sinn des Lebens, and published in its English translations variously as Social Interest: A Challenge to Mankind and Social Interest: Adler's Key to the Meaning of Life). The psychoanalysts Maurice Bouvet and René Held were among his pupils in psychiatry.
In 1933, he founded the journal Hippocrate with Professor Maurice Klippel.
Named chevalier (knight) in 1921, he was promoted to officier (officer) of the Legion of Honour in 1938.
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