Henri Laborit (21 November 1914 – 18 May 1995) was a French surgeon, writer and philosopher. In 1952, Laborit was instrumental in the development of the drug chlorpromazine, published his findings, and convinced three psychiatrists to test it on a patient, resulting in great success. Laborit was recognized for his work, but as a surgeon searching for an anesthetic, he wound up at odds with psychiatrists who made their own discoveries and competing claims.
Laborit was personally untroubled by the requirements of science and the constraints of university life. He maintained an independence from academia and never sought to produce the orderly results that science requires of its adherents.
Healy writes that Laborit felt cheated of his recognition and that he died a bitter man. Healy notes a few attempts to set the record straight: a 1980 book by Jean Thuillier that credits Delay and Deniker and Laborit, a 1960s book by Ann Caldwell that sided with Laborit, and a 1974 book by Judith Swazey, Chlorpromazine in Psychiatry, which gave credit to both sides. A 1992 commemoration by Rhône-Poulenc gave Laborit credit for anesthesia but gave Deniker and Delay credit for application of chlorpromazine to psychiatry. In 1994, on the 200th anniversary of the founding of Val-de-Grâce, a plaque was placed there commemorating the discovery of chlorpromazine by Laborit, Harmon, Paraire, and Velluz in 1952.