Journal article

New challenges for verbal autopsy: Considering the ethical and social implications of verbal autopsy methods in routine health information systems

Hebe N Gouda, Abraham D Flaxman, Claire E Brolan, Rohina Joshi, Ian D Riley, Carla AbouZahr, Sonja Firth, Rasika Rampatige, Alan D Lopez



Verbal autopsy (VA) methods are designed to collect cause-of-death information from populations where many deaths occur outside of health facilities and where death certification is weak or absent. A VA consists of an interview with a relative or carer of a recently deceased individual in order to gather information on the signs and symptoms the decedent presented with prior to death. These details are then used to determine and assign a likely cause-of-death. At a population level this information can be invaluable to help guide prioritisation and direct health policy and services. To date VAs have largely been restricted to research contexts but many countries are now venturing to incorpor..

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Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia project grant

Awarded by Future Leader Fellowship - Australian National Heart Foundation

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Professor Don de Savigny for his comments on earlier drafts of the paper. This work was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia project grant; Improving methods to measure comparable mortality by cause (Grant no.631494). RJ is funded by a Future Leader Fellowship funded by the Australian National Heart Foundation (Grant number 100484).