Jerry Dincin

Photograph: Daniel Shea

Jerry Dincin, the Highland Park resident and prominent right-to-die advocate, died Tuesday morning. He was 82.

Dincin was the president of the Final Exit Network, a group that aims to help the gravely ill who would like to end their lives. In his time with the group, Dincin witnessed 14 deaths, including that of Doreen Dunn, a Minnesota woman who suffered from chronic pain and ended her life in 2007. In May of 2012, Dincin and his coworkers were indicted in Minnesota for assisting with a suicide. 

We wrote a major feature profile on Dincin's like work last summer when, after prostate cancer spread throughout his body, he started preparing for his own death. He originally planned to “exit” on May 4 of last year, but postponed that date. “I’m intellectually convinced that’s exactly what I want to do,” he told us. “But actually [doing it] is . . . it’s a big deal when you don’t want to die.” 

His cancer worsened, and doctors finally told him that they had done all they could. Dincin checked into hospice care late last week, according to his friend Robert Rivas. He passed away peacefullyTuesday morning, according to a family member.

Last week, a judge in Minnesota issued a ruling in the case of Doreen Dunn. Judge Karen Asphaug dismissed the charges against Dincin's former boss, Thomas Goodwin, and said Minnesota's law advising suicide is overly broad.

Dincin is survived by his wife, sister, and four children. He has seven grandchildren.


Clarification: The story was updated on 3/27/2013 to clarify the circumstances of Dincin's death.