See J. M. D. Olmsted and E. H. Olmsted, Claude Bernard and the Experimental Method in Medicine (1952); R. Virtanen, Claude Bernard and His Place in the History of Ideas (1960).
Born in Quebec City, the son of Jean-Claude Panet, he was from a family of 14 children. He had two siblings who gained some fame in Canadian history; Jean-Antoine Panet who became a Lower Canada politician and Jacques Panet who also became a priest.
He was educated at the Petit Séminaire and the Grand Séminaire of Québec. He was ordained a priest in 1778, and began his career as a teacher. One of his noteworthy students was Joseph-Octave Plessis who eventually preceded Panet as archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec.