Doctors who decide not to disclose details of their performance should be "named and shamed" the Health Secretary has said.
Jeremy Hunt said: "Subject to proper risk adjustment of the data there can be no valid reason why it should not be published - and the majority of consultants strongly support the case for doing so.
"In an era of public concern over patient safety issues at Mid Staffordshire Hospital, this will be a major step forward in restoring public confidence", he added.
It is understood Mr Hunt has asked officials to draw up plans to publish the death rates of NHS doctors as early as next month, and subject to legal requirements, he wants every consultant to be "obliged" to disclose the details.
He made the comments after it was reported doctors would be given the opportunity to opt out of the new league tables which assess their performance.