Heinz Lehmann

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Heinz Edgar Lehmann
Born(1911-07-17)July 17, 1911
DiedApril 7, 1999(1999-04-07) (aged 87)
AwardsOrder of Canada
Scientific career

Heinz Edgar Lehmann, OC FRSC (July 17, 1911 – April 7, 1999) was a German-born Canadian psychiatrist best known for his use of chlorpromazine for the treatment of schizophrenia in 1950s and "truly the father of modern psychopharmacology."[1]

Born in Berlin, Germany, he was educated at the University of Freiburg, the University of Marburg, the University of Vienna, and the University of Berlin. He emigrated to Canada in 1937.

In 1947, he was appointed the Clinical Director of Montreal's Douglas Hospital. From 1971 to 1975, he was the Chair of the McGill University Department of Psychiatry.

From 1969 to 1972, he was one of the five members of the LeDain Commission, a royal commission appointed in Canada to study the non-medical use of drugs. He was an advocate for decriminalization of marijuana.

He was ahead of his time in that he supported research in the use of the active ingredient psilocybin to alleviate anxiety.

In 1973, he was a member of the Nomenclature Committee of the American Psychiatric Association that decided to drop homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, i.e. to depathologize it.[2]

In 1976, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1970, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 1998.

In 1999, the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology established the Heinz Lehmann Award in his honor, given in recognition of outstanding contributions to research in neuropsychopharmacology in Canada.


  1. ^ Goldbloom, R (2013). A Lucky Life. Formac Publishing Company Limited, p. 116. ISBN 1459502841
  2. ^ Bayer, R. (1987). Homosexuality and American psychiatry: the politics of diagnosis. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, p. 120 (footnote 41). ISBN 0691028370