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Raymond Carlton Barfield, MD, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics
Professor of Pediatrics and Christian Philosophy
Professor in the School of Nursing
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
Campus mail: 2 Chapel Drive, Room 0034 Westbrook Building, Durham, NC 27708
Phone: (919) 559-2281
Email address: raymond.barfield@duke.edu

Ray Barfield joined the faculties of Duke's Medical School and Divinity School in 2008. He is married to Karen Barfield, who is an Episcopal priest. Ray and Karen have two children, Micah and Alexandra.

Dr. Barfield came from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where his research and practice focused on improving immune therapies for childhood cancer (including bone marrow transplantation and antibody therapy), and understanding the moral aspects of decision-making in medical research involving children. At Duke he has turned much of his effort towards bridging activities in theology, philosophy, literature, and medicine. He was the founding director of Duke's Pediatric Quality of Life/Palliative Care Program and the Theology, Medicine, and Culture program in the Divinity School. Currently he is the director of Medical Humanities in the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine, and a Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

While he continues to publish research papers in oncology and palliative care, much of his current writing focuses on the impact of literature on philosophical thought, and the ways that literature and narrative open up philosophically engaging dimensions of human experience, not least the experiences of illness and suffering. He has over 100 publications in medicine, philosophy and poetry. His books include The Ancient Quarrel Between Poetry and Philosophy (philosophy, Cambridge University Press), Life in the Blind Spot (poetry), Wager: Beauty, Suffering, and Being in the World (philosophy), and The Book of Colors (a novel). He has three books forthcoming: The Practice of Medicine as Being in Time (Philosophy), The Poetic Apriori: Philosophical Imagination in a Meaningful Universe (philosophy), and Dante's New Moon 
(poetry).

Education and Training

  • Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship, Pediatrics, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 2003 - 2004
  • Hematology/Oncology Fellow, Pediatrics, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 2000 - 2003
  • Pediatric Residency, Pediatrics, Emory University, 1993 - 1996
  • Ph.D., Emory University, 2001
  • M.D., Emory University, 1993

Publications

Parikh, Suhag H., Rebecca D. Pentz, Ann Haight, Mehdi Adeli, Paul L. Martin, Timothy A. Driscoll, Kristin Page, Joanne Kurtzberg, Vinod K. Prasad, and Raymond C. Barfield. “Ethical considerations of using a single minor donor for three bone marrow harvests for three HLA-matched siblings with primary immunodeficiency..” Pediatr Blood Cancer 66, no. 4 (April 2019). https://doi.org/10.1002/pbc.27602.

Full Text

Superdock, Alexandra K., Raymond C. Barfield, Debra H. Brandon, and Sharron L. Docherty. “Exploring the vagueness of Religion & Spirituality in complex pediatric decision-making: a qualitative study..” Bmc Palliat Care 17, no. 1 (September 12, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-018-0360-y.

Full Text

Barfield, R. C. “To See the World in a Grain of Sand.” Comment, no. Winter (December 1, 2017).

Scholars@Duke

Barfield, Raymond. Wager Beauty, Suffering, and Being in the World. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

Barton, S., and Ray Barfield. “Religion and Spirituality in Pediatrics.” In Spirituality and Religion Within the Culture of Medicine From Evidence to Practice, edited by Michael Balboni and John Peteet. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Scholars@Duke

Sayour, Elias J., Talal Mousallem, David Van Mater, Endi Wang, Paul Martin, Rebecca H. Buckley, and Raymond C. Barfield. “Bone marrow transplantation for CVID-like humoral immune deficiency associated with red cell aplasia..” Pediatr Blood Cancer 63, no. 10 (October 2016): 1856–59. https://doi.org/10.1002/pbc.26092.

Full Text

Barfield, Raymond. The Book of Colors, 2015.

Scholars@Duke

Sanchez Varela, Ana M., Liza-Marie Johnson, Javier R. Kane, Kimberly A. Kasow, Yuri Quintana, April Coan, Ying Yuan, et al. “Ethical decision making about end-of-life care issues by pediatric oncologists in economically diverse settings..” J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 37, no. 4 (May 2015): 257–63. https://doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000000271.

Full Text

Kesselheim, Jennifer C., Mark Atlas, Denise Adams, Banu Aygun, Ray Barfield, Kristen Eisenman, Joy Fulbright, et al. “Humanism and professionalism education for pediatric hematology-oncology fellows: A model for pediatric subspecialty training..” Pediatr Blood Cancer 62, no. 2 (February 2015): 335–40. https://doi.org/10.1002/pbc.25253.

Full Text

Barfield, Ray. “Pediatric oncology and palliative care..” N C Med J 75, no. 4 (July 2014): 276–77.

Scholars@Duke

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