Sixty-four ICU patients were included. AD were written a median 109 weeks (IQR 26.95, 261.11 weeks) before the ICU stay. Forty-four AD were applicable according to the definition. Of 44 patients with applicable ADs, 50% were surgical patients, 41% patients had severe sepsis. Within 48 hours prior to death, 27% received a DNR/I (do-not-resuscitate/intubate) order or DND (do-not-dialyze) order. Eighteen per cent received a decision to withhold, 43% a decision to withdraw therapy. Twenty-two patients (50%) refused intensive care, 98% (43/44) specifically refused life-sustaining measures and, in addition, many specifically named measures to be avoided. Patients who refused life-sustaining measures received the following treatments: within 48 hours prior to death, 12% received CPR and 23% underwent surgery. Within 24 hours, 77% were mechanically ventilated and on vasopressors. At the time of death, 72% were intubated, 74% with FiO2 >21%, 30% on vasopressors. Of these 43 patients, 21 were surgical and 22 nonsurgical patients. Fourteen out of 43 applicable AD were pre-printed forms, 29 were written individually. No trend was noticeable regarding compliance with single patients' wishes in these subgroups.