Death and Loss of Life have the same meaning, someone has died and thereby no longer lives, but they have distinctly different inferred meanings.
Death makes me think the cause was premeditated, you know, along the lines of murder, same as the word Kill.
Loss of Life sounds like it just happened, an accident, or carelessness on your own part.
Today President Obama used both of these in a sentence describing what is occurring in Gaza:
“I’ve also said, however, that we have serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives.” – Washington Post’s Transcript of Obama’s June 21st Statement
This is not a critique of the President, merely of the wording an individual chooses to use under these circumstances.
That statement is implying that Palestinians are being killed while Israelis are simply dying. Who do you think is killing the Israelis? Hamas.
The wording creates a rude prejudice about the predator/victim relationship in the conflict, and is simply unfair in a society of even treatment. Both groups are having family and friends killed by the opposite, either in defense or in retaliation, and they all deserve respect. That respect comes from knowing both sides are responsible and neither is blameless or complete victims.
While this may have been an innocuous attempt on a speechwriter’s part to distinguish between the two sets of casualties, it is a sloppy mistake which unfortunately connotes a callous view of the Israeli deaths, and as a country that is supposedly their allies, I believe that’s the last thing we want to portray.