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A federal judge intervened Thursday to improve the odds that a second dying child could get a lung transplant from an adult donor in a fast-moving drama that has tugged at the public’s heartstrings while raising concerns among ethicists.

Just a day earlier, lawyers had persuaded U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson to suspend rules they said discriminated against children like Sarah Murnaghan of Newtown Square, a 10-year-old with end-stage cystic fibrosis. They returned to federal court Thursday and successfully argued for Javier Acosta, 11, of New York City, who suffers from the same progressive disease. He has been waiting for lungs since 2010, the lawsuit said.

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