I'm hesitant to post this here as it could be a legitimate change or misunderstanding rather than a bug, but here's what I found.
When you "die", i.e. your ship is blown to bits, your crew is at 100%. You click respawn and you enter the fray once more without any kind of penalty.
I was under the impression that dying would result in a hit to your crewmembers, reducing overall effectiveness, forcing you to visit a starbase every now and then to replenish your crew complement. I know that boarding parties kill off crew, but since I haven't seen any boarding shuttles yet I can't say anything about what that does to your crew.
So: are there no penalties for dying currently in this beta build, has the plan been dropped altogether, or is this not working as intended?