Robin West's University of Pennsylvania Journal Constitutional Law article, Unenumerated Duties, has been posted to BePress.
The article aims to make problematic the relative absence of questions about the affirmative duties of legislators to pass laws to achieve various welfarist ends in liberal constitutional theory. The duty to legislate for the public good is a bedrock of both classical and modern liberal theory, yet there is almost nothing in liberal constitutional theory about the possible constitutional grounding of the moral duties, whether enumerated or unenumerated, of legislators. The full explanation for this absence rests on a set of jurisprudential assumptions that lead moral questions about governance to be understood solely as adjudicative questions of law. Yet it has become quite clear that governmental officials can on occasion be in profound breach of their non-justiciable duty to provide "protection of the laws." If that matters, then constitutional lawyers and scholars ought not wall themselves off from the ensuing dialogue regarding the nature of that duty and its breach.
Medical availability of effective pain medication is vitally important domestically and globally. Medical advances have substantially improved the technical capacity to control pain and diminish its consequences. Worldwide, millions of persons with chronic, acute, and terminal conditions have found relief from excruciating pain through medical intervention. However, richer countries have disproportionately benefited from improvements in access to and use of pain medication. The tragedy is that for most of the world's population, particularly persons in poorer countries, effective pain control is entirely unavailable.
The international migration of health workers - physicians, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists - leaves the world's poorest countries with severe human resource shortages, seriously jeopardizing the achievement of the U.N. health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Advocates for global health call active recruitment in low-income countries a crime. Despite the pronounced international concern, there is little research and few solutions. This commentary focuses on the international recruitment of internationally educated nurses (IENs) from the perspective of human rights and global justice. It explains the complex reasons for nurse shortages in rich and poor countries; the duties of source and host countries; the human rights of health workers; and offers principles for responsible recruiting, focusing on national and global solutions.