Ulcerative Colitis, Genetic Tests and Advancements

Table of Contents

Ethical Considerations for Ulcerative Colitis

The disorder under analysis can be associated with several ethical issues healthcare professionals have to face. One of the ethical dilemmas that can arise is related to health insurance. Many patients have no or very basic insurance plans that do not cover this disorder management services while the diagnostics and treatment of ulcerative colitis are quite expensive. The medical staff is bound to provide care the patient can afford while it is still possible to help patients through training and the provision of psychological support.

Another sphere where ethical issues are common is research. Ulcerative colitis receives the considerable attention of researchers who should address many ethical considerations (Rubin, Becker, & Siegler, 2014). For instance, it is essential to remember that the participants of various trials are often vulnerable groups. These are people who choose to take part in the study due to the lack of resources to obtain high-quality treatment that has already been properly tested. It is critical to make sure that the participants will receive all the important details concerning the research as well as possible risks associated with their participation.

Genetics and Possible Benefits for Practice

It has been acknowledged that ulcerative colitis is associated with the healthcare costs of over $2 billion lost every year. This chronic health condition requires quite expensive treatment. Some of the most recent findings show that early detection as well as more precise diagnoses can reduce costs and lead to improved patient outcomes (Cleynen et al., 2016). For instance, genetic tests can help healthcare professionals identify the exact place of inflammation, which can result in the development of a more effective treatment plan. Ordinary family history records help in assessing the risk of ulcerative colitis, but this information is very limited. Genetic tests can also help in the evaluation of the patient’s lifestyle and dietary habits as well as the creation of more effective patterns. Finally, genetics can help researchers identify factors that contribute to the development of the disorder. More effective treatment options can become a result of successful genetic studies.

New Approaches Introduction

The case under study reveals some of the major peculiarities of the healthcare system that is constantly evolving. Researchers discover new features and introduce new medications and therapies. First, these novel approaches are used occasionally and with significant precaution. However, when the results prove to be positive and therapies are found effective in the majority of cases, they become widely used. For example, biologic agents have become quite common in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. However, recent findings suggest that this approach can be further enhanced (Dave, Papadakis, & Faubion, 2014). The therapy can be more personalized, which will result in improved patient outcomes.

It is important to note that the changes are often met with a certain distrust. People tend to choose therapies that have been used for a while. Researchers also note that the existing system of medical innovation needs improvement as advanced approaches are often underused due to some bureaucratic or other reasons. The collaboration between the government and researchers and the inclusion of patients and health providers in the process can translate into the development of the healthcare system characterized by the use of innovative strategies and approaches.

Educating Colleagues and Patients

As has been mentioned above, raising people’s awareness of the peculiarities of the disorder and available solutions can lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced costs. It is important to focus on such stakeholders as healthcare professionals and patients. First, it is possible to initiate the discussion of ulcerative colitis, its prevalence, as well as cost the community has to endure. Healthcare professionals can share their experiences during regular meetings. It is possible to offer a training program aimed at improving the care provided to people suffering from ulcerative colitis. Healthcare practitioners and the hospitals’ administration will be involved in this process. The administration will allocate certain funds to make the program effective. It is essential to develop leaflets and some guides that will be distributed among the medical staff. These handouts can be developed based on the data provided by all the employees. It is important to shed light on different aspects of the problem.

As for the training of patients, some materials developed for the medical staff can be used to educate patients. Such areas as symptoms, risk factors, available and innovative approaches to treatment, and prevention strategies should be highlighted. Nursing professionals will play the central role in the program aimed at raising people’s awareness of the problem. It can be effective to collaborate with the community. The launch of fairs or weeks of prevention efforts can be a good idea to draw people’s attention to the problem.


It is possible to conclude that ulcerative colitis is a considerable burden for communities and the entire American society. However, genetics and various scientific advances can help in preventing and treating this health condition. Healthcare professionals, policymakers, healthcare providers, patients, and others involved should collaborate to develop effective solutions and reduce the costs associated with the disorder. Training is a key element of this effort. Healthcare practitioners and patients should be aware of the major peculiarities of the disease and the ways to manage it. Communities should be involved in the process of training, which can lead to the reduced burden of ulcerative colitis.


Cleynen, I., Boucher, G., Jostins, L., Schumm, L., Zeissig, S., Ahmad, T., … Lees, C. W. (2016). Inherited determinants of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis phenotypes: A genetic association study. The Lancet, 387(10014), 156-167.

Dave, M., Papadakis, K. A., & Faubion. (2014). Immunology of inflammatory bowel disease and molecular targets for biologics. In E. V. Loftus (Ed.), Biologics in inflammatory bowel disease, an issue of gastroenterology clinics of North America (pp. 405-424). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Rubin, D. T., Becker, S., & Siegler, M. (2014). Ethical considerations for clinical trials in inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 10(1), 37-41.

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