Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics
There is something deeply troubling about a death that goes unnoticed. Beyond the humane impulse to provide solace through collective acknowledgment and community support lies the recognition that an unnoticed death implies an unnoticed life. There can be no doubt that the accurate counting and causal attribution of morbidity and mortality provide technical information that is essential for public health planning, evaluation, and improvement in program performance. However, there is also a justice imperative inherent in counting and attribution—an imperative that transcends the practical and touches on the moral basis of global health and its commitment to the rights and societal claims of those whose health and well-being have for too long gone unnoticed.