[RPG] Can an unconscious PC or NPC reject healing from a potion


After examining the 5e PHB on healing (pg 197) and perusing through various healing spells, I have found no reference to willingness as a required component for HP to be restored. The context for this question is a PC or NPC who, having been reduced to 0HP, wishes to die rather than be captured alive.

Can an unconscious player character or NPC reject healing from a potion? Please note that I am not referring to any form of resurrection, strictly to healing from potions.

Is there any core rule which states that the healee must 'opt in' to potion effects, or does RAW, by its silence on the matter, indicate that the unconscious PC/NPC in my case could be forced back to consciousness by the potion?

Best Answer

You cannot choose to abstain from a potion effect

Potion of Healing states:

You regain hit points when you drink this potion.

In that language, there is no choice. Just cause and effect. You drink the potion, you regain hitpoints.

If you had a choice about potion effects, then the Potion of Poison would hold no threat.

This concoction[potion of poison] looks, smells, and tastes like a potion of healing or other beneficial potion...If you drink it, you take 3d6 poison damage...

If you could choose not to accept a potion's effects, then you could drink a Potion of Poison thinking it's one of Healing and then opt out of the effect.

Inability to decide anything

It's also important to note that the character is currently unconscious. Even if choice was possible, the only way they could make it is if they were conscious. Since they aren't, there definitely isn't a way for them to decline (just like how they can't decline drinking the potion.)