You’ve just had a baby boy! You’ve brought him home from the hospital, you’re getting into that routine of late night feedings and too frequent diaper changes, and you think, “Hmmm. What this situation really needs is for someone to take a pair of scissors to this little rascal’s penis.” I don’t get it. But apparently, home circumcisions are a thing, and there are “professionals” (using the term loosely) who are so committed to their hobby of chopping up baby penises that they’ll resign from regular work to commit to the practice.
As part of the BBC investigation, an actor phoned up Dr Siddiqui and asked him to conduct a home circumcision on their baby. He agreed, in direct contravention of his GMC ban. Since then, and after discovering he had been exposed by the BBC, Dr Siddiqui has resigned from his NHS job. The astonishing consequence of that resignation is that it now allows him to resume conducting circumcisions, which it appears he fully intends to do.
Yes, you did read that correctly. Circumcisions are completely unregulated in the UK, and anyone – you, me or the local barber – can set up a business cutting off baby boy’s foreskins at a hundred quid a pop. Any doctor under the employ of the NHS, however, is bound to the regulation of the GMC and the Quality and Care Commission. A circumcision conducted in a hospital, with anaesthetic and surgical implements is carefully controlled and subject to monitoring and audit. A circumcision conducted on a kitchen table or in a community centre is completely unregulated. There are more regulations surrounding the piercing of an ear than the surgical amputation of a foreskin.
Weird. You know, if a guy made a habit of going around kissing baby penises, he’d be locked up on the spot, but add some sharp knives and olive oil to the process, and suddenly it becomes an honored and respected traditional folk practice that must be allowed to continue without interference.