In light of some of the responses to the League’s constitutional convention on the main page, I’ve been doing some thinking on the subject of so-called positive rights and want to take the pulse of readers here. To those of you who believe there is or ought to be a constitutional right to health care, do you believe this right exists outside the context of the state? That is, if we suddenly found ourselves stranded on a desert island with no government or formal laws, do I nonetheless have a right to receive medical services from you similar to your right against my stealing your possessions or causing you physical harm? What if you need my shirt to strain your drinking water–part of your "rights" to basic food, water, and health care? Can negative and positive rights co-exist?
You can see where I’m going with this: some kind of things are appropriately called basic, or constitutional, rights, and others are something else. But I genuinely want to understand the case for putting positive rights in a constitution, and how they might interact with or impact negative rights.
[In light of some of the initial comments, I added some additional thoughts and restarted the discussion at the main page.]