Television in hospitals

Reference: al-Fataawa al-Muta’alliqah bit-Tibb wa Ahkaam al-Mardhaa – Pages 451-452

Question: Some of the inpatient rooms [in hospitals] have a television; Some of the patients want it and others do not – and this can cause strain upon some of them. So what should we do in this situation?

Response: It is befitting in such circumstances – if the patient is in his room with other patients and they do not want the television, that they have it removed. This is so their hearts can be at peace and to prevent any fitnah. If, however, they all want the television, then there is no harm in that – with the condition that they do not watch anything other than that which will benefit them – such as listening to the Qur.aan with a low volume and seeking knowledge and other than that from that which will benefit them with regards to their religion and their life; Whilst they must also switch off [the television] when harmful programs such as music and dance and that which is similar is shown. If, however, they were to do without the television altogether, then that is safer [for the preservation of their religious values] and better [for them in this life and the Hereafter]. They are more aware of themselves and that which is in their interests; As for imposing upon them that which will harm them and cause them discomfort and possibly disrupt their sleep and rest, then that is not permissible, particularly if some of the patients are foolish and have total disregard for their fellow patients.

That which is obligatory is that this matter should be under the supervision of a trusted person who fears Allaah and does not turn the television on without the other patients’ permission – other than to watch that which will benefit them, otherwise it should remain switched off.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

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