Medical intervention by electrical current as applied to humans or animals may have tremendous therapeutic impact if delivered while being carefully controlled. Otherwise, the situation can be harmful in terms of injury or even become lethal. These consequences demand close inspection of all relevant biological and technical factors. Regarding methods to counter fibrillation of the heart substantial progress has been made, but defining a gold standard for the waveshape and energy delivery remains a serious challenge. The anticipated answer is not simply a range somewhere between a maximum and a minimum, but most likely an "intelligently" selected case-specific optimum, delicately positioned between effective and unsafe. Combining insight from theory with pertinent experimental findings may offer a clearer view on an unresolved issue that often points to a cross-road of life and death.